Robbery for a Billion: Who Stole the Historical Values of the Green Vault Museum
Dresden (Germany) houses the oldest museum in the world and the richest collection of jewels in Europe. This museum is called "Grünes Gewölbe". If you translate this phrase from German into Russian, it will sound like "Green vault". On November 25, the Saxon treasury was robbed. The experts estimated the jewelry stolen by thieves at a tidy sum of one billion dollars! Who dared to commit such a daring crime?
This peculiar name of the museum comes from the color of the columns in the first room, where the collection was housed. The columns in the vaulted room on the first floor of the palace-residence of the Wettin dynasty were painted malachite. Now these columns are no longer green, they are lined with mirrors. The Saxon Elector and King of Poland Augustus the Strong made a museum out of this residence in 1723-1729, so that everyone can admire unique works of art and precious objects. They represent an entire era in the history of art from Renaissance to Classicism. To this day, the museum has preserved ten rooms, which house more than 4,000 exhibits. They are all unique. The first room of the Green Vaults displays works of art from the Middle Ages and early Renaissance. The most impressive exhibits in this room are the bowl of Ivan the Terrible and the printed ring of Martin Luther. The second hall of the exposition is called the Amber Cabinet, which contains works of art made of amber. Various vessels, boxes, figurines, cutlery. The third room is called the Ivory Room. There are exhibits of unique ivory items. The fourth hall is an exhibition of works of silver. The fifth room contains objects of art and antiquities, made of gilded silver. The sixth room is the largest in the museum, this is the so-called Preziosi hall, the hall of treasures. The seventh room, the Armorial, is dedicated to the astronomical clock. The jewelry room contains the famous exhibits created by the court jeweler Johann Melchior Dinglinger. The most famous of them is "Moor with emerald ore". This is a pear tree sculpture made by a jeweler in 1724. The statuette is more than half a meter high, it is decorated with various precious stones - emeralds, rubies, sapphires. "The Obelisk of Augustus" - one of the most famous exhibits, depicts Augustus the Strong, the jeweler used 240 cut stones and sculptures covered with gold. Its cost is equal to the cost of the entire palace. In the ninth room, the so-called Bronze, there are 80 bronze sculptures. The tenth room is filled with bronze miniatures from the Renaissance period, and the hand of robbers rose to this museum. According to employees, the thieves stole unique jewelry, the total value of which exceeds one billion dollars. Since the stolen items are unique, the police and museum staff fear that the jewelry will simply be crushed to sell. The cultural value of these works of art is incalculable at all. Thieves entered the vault, breaking the window and pushing the bars of the bars on it. Previously, they set fire to the power supply under the Augustus Bridge, which paralyzed the entire power supply system. CCTV cameras recorded two persons of slender build and small stature. The theft happened very quickly, taking only a few minutes. Camera footage reveals that the thieves targeted only three display cases in the jewelry room. The criminals got out of the room through an underground passage. NPR posted footage from a surveillance video in which two figures, dressed in black and with flashlights, use what looks like small hatchets to break the beautifully crafted cases. They take out the jewels and carry them away. Museum staff were shocked by the cruelty of this crime. The Minister of Art of Saxony, Eva-Maria Stange, pointed out that the jewelry is essentially a historical property, it is the property of the Saxon kings. President-Minister Michael Kretschmer said that theft is a crime against the entire people of Saxony. He also noted that the state has been collecting this collection for centuries, and it is an integral part of the history of Saxony. The missing items include: a hat clasp with one 16K diamond and 14 other large stones, as well as over 100 small diamonds; a diamond-encrusted pectoral star of the Polish Order of the White Eagle; a diamond-set sword, the hilt of which is encrusted with about 800 small diamonds and nine large stones, with a matching sheath. The police have assembled a special commission to investigate the crime, and the good news is that one of the museum's most famous treasures is safe, a 41-carat Dresden white diamond. It might have been tempting for burglars, but the stone is currently on lease at the Museum of Art in New York. Police know that the thieves fled the scene in an Audi A6, which was later discovered in an underground car park., the local police received a call about a power outage immediately after five in the morning local time. All electricity in the area of the museum was turned off, even the street lamps - this made it easier for the robbers to escape. Less than a minute later, a report was made about the criminals' car. The police immediately began operational search activities.
There is no new information yet on the status of the investigation, but the police have offered a reward of half a million euros to anyone who can provide any information that will help in catching the criminals. Of course, this loud and audacious crime is unparalleled in the damage caused. We can only hope that law enforcement officers will be able to reveal it and the treasures will return to the museum unharmed. After all, this is part of the world heritage!
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