A gang of thieves broke into the Green Vault of the Dresden Museum in Germany to carry out one of the biggest and dramatic heists in the early hours of Monday. Jewelry worth approximately €1 billion was stolen.
The gang reportedly started a fire to ensure a power failure at the museum in an attempt to avoid the elaborate network of security cameras in the museum. German media reported the thieves twisted the iron grill bars to gain access to the ground floor. And the surveillance videos released by the authorities, show the thieves using an ax to smash the glass and stealing the jewels.
Green vault of the Dresden Museum is located in the Residenzschloss- a former royal palace. It was founded by an Elector of Saxony, August the Strong in 1723. The Vault which houses an historic collection of jewels has been a public attraction for many visitors over years. The vault had suffered heavy damage due to the bombings in the Second World War. It was later restored to its former glory and opened to the public in 2006. The museum’s collections include treasures like a royal gift of 648- carat sapphire from Russian Tsar Peter the Great, a golden coffee service from 1701, and a 41- carat Dresden ‘Green Diamond’ which is currently borrowed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
The historic vault of the museum, which holds more than half of the museum’s treasures, has a strict limit on the number of daily visitors allowed. The German authorities have not yet specified which of the treasures were stolen.
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