Up to 1 billion euros of treasures stolen from Dresden museum

Up to 1 billion euros of treasures stolen from Dresden museum

Thieves have managed to break into a state museum in Dresden in the east of Germany, making off with a haul of treasures estimated to be worth up to one billion euros. 

Break-in at Green Vault in Dresden

In the early hours of Monday morning, several thieves broke into the Green Vault (Grünes Gewölbe) at Dresden’s Royal Palace, a historic museum that houses some 4.000 priceless objects. 

At 9.30am, police confirmed that there had been “a break-in at the Green Vault” and that the thieves were on the run. While an official estimate of the value of the lost items was not given, Bild reported that “antique jewellery worth up to a billion euros has been stolen”, in what they described as “the largest art theft in postwar history.”

Thieves targeted museum power supply

The thieves apparently broke into the palace by starting a fire that eventually turned off the power supply to the museum and enabled the culprits to climb through a window. The energy supplier responsible for the power box in question confirmed that there had been an incident and said it was investigating it. 

According to Bild, the thieves then targeted smaller items of jewellery, leaving bulky objects like vases or paintings behind. Early reports suggest that three precious sets of diamond jewellery were among the items stolen.

People of Saxony were “robbed”

The Green Vault, which was founded by August the Strong, Elector of Saxony, in 1723, is one of the oldest museums in Europe and contains the continent’s largest collection of treasures. After sustaining damage during the Second World War, it was reopened in September 2006 and has since become one of the foremost attractions in Dresden. 

Michael Kretschmer, the Minister-President of Saxony, said that he was devastated by the crime. “Not only the state art collections were robbed, but we Saxons,” he said. “The treasures that can be found in the Green Vault and in the Residence Palace have been hard-won by the people in the Free State of Saxony over many centuries.”

Thumb: Artefakte [CC BY-SA 3.0]



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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