The Green Vault in Germany was previously touted “as secure as Fort Knox,” but that all changed early Monday morning when two thieves turned the power off, broke the display case, and stole numerous priceless artifacts from 18th-century royalty. Police have no leads and fear the priceless treasures will be destroyed or sold.
The early morning heist resulted in three pieces of “priceless” 18th-century jewelry being stolen. The two thieves were seen on CCTV outside and inside the museum, and both appear to be small in stature as they were able to get into some very small, closed-off areas of the museum.
After the jewelry was stolen, the two men were seeing jumping into a getaway car. A car was later found torched a few miles away from the museum, and police are confident that vehicle was used in the robbery.
The stolen jewelry was from Saxony’s former ruler Augustus the Strong from the 18th-century. The pieces were part of a larger set and are considered to be priceless. If a price has to be placed on the pieces stolen, the museum has valued them at a billion euros which would make this the most expensive art heist in history, the Daily Mail reported.
Police arrived minutes after the thieves left the museum. The suspects were able to get away after an electrical fire began to rage at the museum. It’s unclear if the fire was intentional or just dumb luck for the robbers.
Museum director Marion Ackermann was “shocked” and angry at the “brutality” of the robbery. “We’re dealing with priceless artistic and cultural treasures,” she told reporters. “We cannot give a value because it is impossible to sell.”
Many jewelry experts stated the priceless pieces would more than likely be broken into smaller pieces and sold to different people as selling the whole set would be too suspicious. The public and museum staff are left simply waiting as police have no leads.
“We have not identified a perpetrator and nor have we yet made any arrests,” police said in a statement. The museum is expected to be closed for the next two days and will reopen on Wednesday.