Thieves stole precious Indian jewels from the famed Al Thani Collection that were on show in a Venetian palace Wednesday, making off with a brooch and a pair of earrings by mixing in with the crowd on the final day of the exhibition, police say. The stolen jewels were not the top highlights of the Al Thani Collection, which includes gems dating from the time of the Mughal Empire. But police said they were made of gold, platinum, and diamonds and their value is estimated to be in the millions of dollars, the AP reports. Police say the security alarm went off at around 10am at Venice's Doge's Palace and police immediately sealed the area.
But the thieves had already made their escape from the museum, known as the Palazzo Ducale and one of Venice's top tourist destinations on the edge of St. Mark's Square. Venice police chief Vito Gagliardi told the ANSA news agency the thieves managed to delay the triggering of the alarm system, allowing them to escape. The Al Thani Collection is a renowned collection of 270 pieces of Indian and Indian-inspired jewelry and precious stones, spanning 400 years from the Mughal period to the present and assembled by Qatar's Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani. Forbes magazine has said "there is no comparable collection on the planet." (This Paris jewel thief was tracked down after he kissed a hostage.)