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Thieves have stolen priceless jewellery from the Green Vault in Dresden Castle.
Thieves have stolen priceless jewellery from the Green Vault in Dresden Castle.

Historic jewellery stolen from German museum

German police are investigating following the theft of more than 100 pieces of ‘priceless’ jewellery – including diamonds, pearls and rubies – from Dresden Castle in Saxony.

The stolen jewellery was housed in the castle’s Green Vault, and is part of a collection that also includes a 648-carat sapphire given to the Saxons by Russian tsar Peter the Great, as well as the 41-carat Dresden Green Diamond.

The collection was established by 18th-Century ruler Augustus the Strong and is considered a national treasure by Germans.

While the stolen pieces are said to be priceless, some media reports have put their value as high as €1 billion ($AU1.6 billion).  

Dr Roland Wöller
Dr Roland Wöller
“This is a bitter day for the historical heritage of Saxony”
Dr Roland Wöller, Saxony Minister of the Interior

Marion Ackermann, director of Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Museums), said the organisation was “shocked” by the “brutality of the break-in”.

Dr Roland Wöller, Saxony’s Minister of the Interior, said, “This is a bitter day for the historical heritage of Saxony. In the early morning hours, several culprits broke into the Green Vault in Dresden and stole art treasures of unimaginable value.

“It is not the material value alone that is to be lamented here, but rather the historical significance for us, Saxony, which stands behind the stolen works of art.”

Police were first alerted to the break-in at 5am and responded within 10 minutes, but were too late to arrest the thieves. It has been reported that the burglars entered through a ground floor window without triggering the castle’s alarm. 

It has been speculated that a fire at a nearby power station could have been deliberately set in order to cause an electrical outage, which disabled the alarm as well as streetlights in front of the window.

A car matching the description of the getaway vehicle was later found burned in an underground carpark.

German Federal Police have formed a special task force, Operation Epaulette, to recover the stolen jewels. At the time of publication, the Green Vault was closed to the public.

 

Stolen jewellery from the Green Vault, Dresden

Image Credit: Jürgen Karpinski/Grünes Gewölbe, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Image Credit: Jürgen Karpinski/Grünes Gewölbe, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Image Credit: Jürgen Karpinski/Grünes Gewölbe, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Image Credit: Jürgen Karpinski/Grünes Gewölbe, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Image Credit: Jürgen Karpinski/Grünes Gewölbe, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Image Credit: Jürgen Karpinski/Grünes Gewölbe, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

Image Credit: Jürgen Karpinski/Grünes Gewölbe, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Image Credit: Jürgen Karpinski/Grünes Gewölbe, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Image Credit: Jürgen Karpinski/Grünes Gewölbe, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Image Credit: Jürgen Karpinski/Grünes Gewölbe, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

 

WATCH VIDEO

 

More reading:
The Pink Panthers: Europe’s mysterious gang of thieves
ABC Bullion brings ancient treasures to Australia
Man sentenced in relation to $50 million diamonds heist
 











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Monday, 16 December, 2019 01:02am
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