German police recover bulk of booty from $120m diamonds heist

The pieces stolen from one of Europe's greatest art collections contained more than 4,300 diamonds

By Reuters

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Visitors stand in the Jewel Room during the reopening of the Green Vault Museum in Dresden's Royal Palace of the Dresden State Art Collections (SKD) in Dresden, Germany. — AP file
Visitors stand in the Jewel Room during the reopening of the Green Vault Museum in Dresden's Royal Palace of the Dresden State Art Collections (SKD) in Dresden, Germany. — AP file

Published: Sat 17 Dec 2022, 6:56 PM

Most of the jewels stolen from a historic Dresden art collection in 2019 in a $120 million heist have been recovered, German police and prosecutors said on Saturday

The 31 pieces, including a breast star of the Polish Order of the White Eagle and an ornate diamond head-dress, had been secured by investigators in Berlin, authorities said.

Their return followed negotiations between prosecutors and defence lawyers for the Germans who are on trial for the November 2019 break-in at the Gruenes Gewoelbe (Green Vault) Museum.

In all, the pieces stolen from one of Europe's greatest art collections contained more than 4,300 diamonds with an estimated value of more than 113 million euros ($120 million).

Prosecutors believe the thieves sawed through part of a window grating in advance and reattached it to get into the building as quickly as possible during the heist.

The returned pieces will be examined by specialists "to confirm their authenticity and intactness," authorities said.


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