Thieves Steal Priceless Items from Dresden’s Treasury Green Vault; Hiscox Comments

November 26, 2019

Thieves have carried out a heist at Dresden’s Green Vault, one of the world’s oldest museum containing priceless treasures and jewels, German officials said Monday.

The treasury of Augustus the Strong of Saxony was established in 1723 and today contains around 4,000 objects of gold, precious stones and other materials on display in the historic palace. German media reported the losses from the early-morning burglary could run into the high hundreds of millions of euros. Police said it was too early to estimate the value of the items stolen but planned to provide further information over the course of the day.

The governor of Saxony, where Dresden is located, said the vault contained items collected over many hundreds of years.

“It’s not just the State Art Collections that was robbed, but us Saxons,” Michael Kretschmer tweeted. “One can’t understand the history of Saxony without the Green Vault.”

Exhibition rooms at the museum include focus on treasures featuring jewels, ivory, silver and amber among other objects.

One of its most famous and precious treasures, the Dresden Green Diamond, is currently on loan with other valuable pieces to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for an exhibit.

The 41-carat green diamond was acquired by Augustus III, the son of Augustus the Strong, in 1742, according to the museum.

(Editor’s note: Robert Read, head of Art and Private Clients at specialist insurer Hiscox, commented on the burglary:

“It’s the festive season and everybody goes shopping – art criminals are no different and at this time of year jewelry and works of art which contain a significant amount of precious metals and stones are often targeted. The awful theft in Dresden [early on Nov. 25] shows just that. The thieves now face a major logistical nightmare trying to transform their ill-gotten loot into clean money and that process will offer detectives the best way to track them down. Let’s hope that they succeed and a great museum gets back what is rightly theirs.”)

Photograph: An police officer walks behind a caution tape at the Schinkelwache building in Dresden where thieves on Nov. 25 carried out a heist at Dresden’s Green Vault, one of the world’s oldest museums. Photographer: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa via AP.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.