JEWEL HEIST: $1 Billion in Treasure could be lost to “criminal underworld”

A Surveillance video which was  released by the police shows two thieves breaking into the 500-year-old Dresden Castle and making off with 18th century treasure from its famous Green Vault room.

A report had suggested that the stolen items could be valued to be  more than $1 billion, but the director of Dresden’s state art collections, Marion Ackermann, said the real value of the jewels to Germany was “immeasurable.”  

JEWEL HEIST: $1 Billion in Treasure could be lost to “criminal underworld”

According to reports that, the German police also released images of the exquisite items that were stolen, many of them which were encrusted with diamonds, rubies and sapphires and other jewels. One of the pilfered objects is a sword with a hilt adorned by nine large diamonds and 770 smaller ones. All vanished within minutes when two hooded men thieves used an axe to smash through the showcase glass.

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The report also added that Unarmed security guards saw it happening on their video screens and alerted police, but by the time they arrived the burglars had fled. An Audi A6, which police believe may have been the getaway car, was found torched in an underground parking garage in the city later on Monday.

The Police have issued a call for any witnesses to come forward. The drama unfolded inside Dresden Castle’s 18th century Green Vault, which had held one of Europe’s largest collections of treasure.

Arthur Brand, a prominent investigator of stolen art, said that such identifiable stolen artifacts would be impossible to sell on the open market. “Art can be money. But you cannot sell it; once it’s in the criminal underworld, it stays there,” he said. Authorities now fear the thieves might break up the jewelry, or even melt it down.

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