Three priceless 18th century jewels were stolen on Monday morning from a museum in Dresden, Germany, that houses a unique collection of treasures.
The museum’s security service raised the alarm about the theft at dawn after at least two burglars managed to break into the museum of “The Green Vault”, through a window and steal three sets of diamonds and rubies. The authorities suspect that these two people did not act alone and that there are more involved.
“We are shocked by the brutality of this flight,” Museum Director Marion Ackermann told a news conference.
Police closed the museum building, located in a palace, and said they are still trying to determine what has been stolen. “We have not identified a perpetrator and we have not made any arrests,” said a police spokesman.
The head of the Dresden State Art Collections, Marion Ackermann, has said that the value of stolen goods cannot be quantified, describing them as ‘cultural treasures’ with ‘immeasurable worth’.
Prime Minister of Saxony Michael Kretschmer lamented the theft, saying “You can’t understand the history of Saxony without the Green Vault and without the State Art Collections.” The theft has been a blow to the entire state, Kretschmer added.
“The works in the Green Vault and the Palace were built by the people of Saxony after many centuries of hard work,” he said.
The collection, which houses some 4,000 pieces, was founded in the 18th century by August the Strong, later King of Poland. One of his best-known treasures, the 41-carat “Green Diamond” of Dresden, was on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York at the time of the theft.
The treasures of the Green Vault survived the Allied bombings in World War II but were taken as spoils of war to the former Soviet Union. They were returned to Dresden, the historical capital of the state of Saxony, in 1958.