Priceless items stolen from Dresden's Green Vault museum

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They compelled their method into Dresden's Gruenes Gewoelbe, or Inexperienced Vault Museum and bought away with at the very least three units of early 18th century jewelry, together with diamonds and rubies, museum workers advised reporters.

They then fled in an Audi A6 and remain on the run.

The burglars forced their way into the Grüne Gewölbe, or Green Vault, at Dresden's Royal Palace - home to about 4,000 artifacts made of precious stones, gold, silver and ivory - after deactivating the alarm system early Monday. It said a nearby electricity junction box had been set on fire, cutting the power supply to the whole area before the heist. They were later returned to East Germany, but the full breadth of the collection's thousands of pieces wasn't put on public display until around 15 years ago, the museum says on its website.

Green Vault director Dirk Syndram stressed that the collections in the museum have "invaluable cultural value" - particularly their completeness.

Nevertheless, the stolen items are "of inestimable art-historical and cultural-historical value", she said.

Founded by Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony in 1723, the Green Vault is one of 12 museums that comprise the famous Dresden State Art Collections.

This is a selection of attractive artifacts displayed at the 18th century vault, which is one of the world's oldest museums.

It is now on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

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

The thieves targeted a priceless collection of 18th century jewelry, gems and elaborate trinkets known as the "Green Vault" and housed in the Grand Palace, Dresden. "One can't understand the history of Saxony without the Green Vault".

One of its most valuable pieces, the green diamond, is now on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY, where it is a headline attraction in the temporary exhibition "Making Marvels: Science and Splendor at the Courts of Europe".

He said the thieves "stole cultural treasures of immeasurable worth - that is not only the material worth but also the intangible worth to the state of Saxony, which is impossible to estimate".

The treasures of the Green Vault survived Allied bombs during in World War II, only to be carted off as war booty by the Soviet Union.

In 2010, the museum hosted a meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and then President of the United States Barack Obama, on the latter's first state visit to Germany.

The museum said it was closed Monday for "organizational reasons" and a special police commission has been established following the heist.

Some major heists, such as the theft of an enormous 100kg 24-carat gold coin from Berlin's Bode Museum in 2017, are believed to result in the artwork being quickly melted down or broken up for easier transportation and sale.

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