Thieves steal priceless treasure in German museum heist

‘Priceless’ jewellery stolen in German museum heist

Treasure Heist: Burglars In Germany May Have Stolen Jewels And Other Items Worth About $1 Billion

Details are beginning to emerge on how burglars stole three diamond jewellery sets from one of Europe's largest treasure collections, the Dresden Green Vault in eastern Germany, in what appears to have been a meticulously planned heist.

According to the Guardian, police called the theft one of the biggest art heists since World War II.

The suspects then fled in an Audi A6 and remain on the run.

Authorities said the vehicle was still being investigated, as was a fire at a power substation that halted street lighting in the area. However, they added it would be "terrible" if the thieves are tempted to break up the pieces given their historical and cultural significance.

But Marinello said the cultural value of the items might not matter to the criminals.

He said the perpetrators had stolen artifacts of "immeasurable value".

The spectacular art theft is probably the biggest art theft in German post-war history.

Museum directors had earlier feared much of three sets of diamond jewellery in the collection were snatched, but the loss turned out to be more limited than thought.

Founded by Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony in 1723, the Green Vault is one of 12 museums that comprise the famous Dresden State Art Collections.

The museum alarm sounded at 4:59 a.m. on Monday morning, and although police were on the scene by 5:04 a.m., the looters had already managed to escape.

This is a selection of lovely artifacts displayed at the 18th century vault, which is one of the world's oldest museums.

The thieves also made off with a diamond epaulet that the museum says is one of the most beautifully designed pieces in its collection.

Monday's raid targeted the historic section, which contains around three-quarters of the museum's treasures and has a strict limit on the number of daily visitors.

Exhibits are arranged into nine rooms, including an ivory room, a silver-gilt room and the central "Hall of Treasures".

The Green Vault, a baroque treasure house in the former royal palace of the House of Wettin, is one of the oldest art museums in Europe.

The treasures of the Inexperienced Vault survived Allied bombing raids in World Struggle Two, exclusively to be carted off as conflict booty by the Soviet Union.

"This is an attack on the cultural identity of all Saxons and the state of Saxony", Woeller added.

The video shows two people walking into Dresden's Grünes Gewölbe museum, or Green Vault, after smashing a window overnight to gain entry.

In 2010, the museum hosted a meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and then U.S. president Barack Obama on his first state visit to Germany.

The museum said it was closed Monday for "organizational reasons" and a special police commission has been established following the heist.

In 2017, thieves broke into the Bode museum in Berlin and made off with a 100kg (220lb) gold coin, allegedly using only a wheelbarrow, a ladder, and a getaway auto.

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