Two men have committed a bold robbery of jewelry belonging to the Swedish royal family in a cathedral, before fleeing by boat, announced the Swedish authorities on Thursday.
The thieves broke into the Strängnäs Cathedral, about 100 kilometers west of the capital Stockholm, on Tuesday afternoon, and seized the precious relics dating from the 17th century.
The theft concerns two crowns and an orb (a globe topped with a cross) from the funerary ornaments of Charles IX, who reigned over Sweden and Finland from 1607 to 1611, and his wife, Queen Christine, reported the cathedral officials in a statement.
“The objects were stored in accordance with the security rules in force,” in a locked showcase with an alarm, they said.
The jewels are of inestimable value, according to the police. “We do not know the value of the stolen goods, except that it is a national treasure,” said Stefan Dangardt, police spokesman.
“It is simply impossible to sell such objects, so we can only question their intentions and knowledge about these crowns,” said Maria Ellior, the national coordinator of cultural and heritage crimes.
A witness, Tom Rowell, who was having lunch near the building, told the Aftonbladet newspaper that he saw two men run away from the cathedral and jump into a small white motorboat.
“I immediately noticed that they were burglars because of their behaviour,” he added.
The police called for witnesses to come forward and also alerted Interpol to the crime. Strängnäs Cathedral is known for the remains of Charles IX and his two wives, Princess Mary and Queen Christina.