Thieves Raid Europe's Largest Collection of Treasures

Authorities are still trying to assess what was taken from the Green Vault in Dresden, Germany
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2019 8:07 AM CST
Thieves Raid Europe's Largest Collection of Treasures
A police officer walks behind caution tape at the Schinkelwache building in Dresden, Germany, on Monday.   (Sebastian Kahnert/dpa via AP)

Early Monday, firefighters in Dresden, Germany, rushed to the scene of a fire at a power distributor. Not long after, another call came in: The Gruenes Gewoelbe museum, or Green Vault, had been robbed. Now authorities say they're trying to figure out if the two incidents are connected, as the fire appears to have cut off the museum's power supply. Also in question is what exactly was taken in the heist from the museum, which Deutsche Welle notes "houses Europe's largest collection of treasures." The thieves reportedly took only jewelry, a haul that could run into the high hundreds of millions of dollars, per ABC News.

Per the BBC, local media is reporting the thieves appear to have bent back iron bars protecting one of the small windows on the ground floor, where the most precious of the museum's items are located. "The treasures ... have been hard-won by the people ... of Saxony over many centuries," Saxony State Premier Michael Kretschmer says, per Deutsche Welle. "Not only the state art collections were robbed, but we Saxons." The museum, which was created in the 1700s by Saxon ruler August the Strong, is called Green Vault because some sections are painted in an intense version of that color. (More art heist stories.)

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