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Brazen jewel heist: ‘Priceless, unique treasures’ stolen from Germany’s Green Vault

Brazen jewel heist: ‘Priceless, unique treasures’ stolen from Germany’s Green Vault
Thieves have broken into Germany’s ‘Green Vault,’ a priceless collection of 18th century jewels and objects d’art stored in Dresden, and reportedly stole an estimated €1 billion worth of historical treasures.

Police in Dresden confirmed the facility was broken into in the early hours of Monday via a window and smashed their way through the display cases. Investigators say the building’s electricity went out after the nearby supply box caught fire, but it’s not clear yet if that’s linked to the theft. 

The perpetrators remain at large. Police say the alarm sounded just before 5am local time, and officers were on the scene five minutes later. A burnt-out car found a few miles from the Green Vault could be the getaway vehicle, but that has yet to be confirmed, the police chief said.

Museum officials described the items stolen in the heist as “priceless” and “unique” treasures which are part of the world’s cultural heritage. 

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The collection, often called the largest treasure trove in Europe, was created by the Saxon ruler August the Strong between 1723 and 1730 and includes an array of impressive jewels, art pieces, and trinkets. It’s housed across two floors of the Royal Palace; a note on the collection website says the palace is closed Monday for “organizational reasons.” 

Much of the collection was stashed in a fortress for safety during WWII, but some artworks were lost when the heavy bombing of Dresden ruined some of the Green Vault rooms.

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