August 12, 2020

Diamonds, a white powder, a burnt car and a juicy reward | Culture

The stealing of the jewels of Dresden and, a week later, the assault on the Stasi museum in Berlin could well be the screenplay for a movie, which at least does not have a happy ending at the moment. In Dresden, some clues are emerging after the spectacular treasure robbery of the Green Vault, but there is still no sign of one of the most valuable ancient jewelry sets in Europe. A burnt car and a white powder sprayed are the rickety stunted footprint left by thieves capable of doing a very professional job.

Anyone who contributes any clue to the unique embezzlement can access a reward of half a million euros offered by the police. They have already received 516, as reported by the State of Saxony police on Tuesday, but they recognize that they currently have no suspect in sight.

In Berlin, another museum was assaulted this weekend, this time the Stasi. As in Dresden, thieves broke three showcases and took jewelry and decorations from the former German Democratic Republic, including the order of Karl-Marx. Stolen objects are less valuable than those stolen from the royal palace, but the coincidence over time raises new questions about museum security.

Last Monday, around five in the morning, At least two men entered the so-called Dresden Green Vault, where a valuable royal collection of 17th-century jewelry was exhibited. To enter, they made eight clean cuts in the bars of a 19th century fence. The alarm sounded only when the lattice was already dismantled and when the thieves broke the glass and sneaked into the building. At 4.56 in the morning, the museum guards realized that someone had come to steal. Three minutes later, they activated the alarm connected to the police, which arrived at 5.04 in the morning at the museum. Too late.

The museum's security cameras recorded how thieves shattered the display cases with axes and took the spoils. They did it in full darkness, as can be seen in the video released by the police. Apparently, the guards decided not to turn on the lights to make it difficult for thieves to work.

Shortly before a fire had broken out 240 meters from the museum window through which they entered and the electric current in the area had been affected. The streets were dark, but the museum did not, because it has its own emergency generator. Fifteen minutes later, police were alerted to a fire in an underground garage on Kötzschenbrodaer Street, on the highway. There appears an Audi A6 calcined and smelling of gasoline, with which it is assumed that the pockets fled.

On Wednesday, after the inspection at the scene, the museum reported the losses in the treasury chamber of August II The strong, Prince of Saxony and King of Poland (1670-1733). In the photographs you can see sets of buttons, brooches, hairpins, buckles, ornaments for hats and a dagger, all upholstered in diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds. Military decorations full of precious stones were also carried, as well as parts of necklaces and earrings of Queen Amalia Augusta of Bavaria. It was confirmed that one of the greatest baroque treasures in Europe had evaporated.

The museum's director, Dirk Syndram, explained on Tuesday that the jewels had been sprayed with a white powder, probably from a fire extinguisher, used to cover the trails. Spraying could have damaged jewelry that failed to take away.

Clues there are few, but the questions nevertheless accumulate. How is it possible for thieves to break the access window with such ease? Did the alarm sound on time? Is it normal for the guards to be paralyzed and just call the police while the cameras record the theft? And why were the pieces not insured?

Epaulette operation

At the moment, according to the police, what is known is that there are four people involved in the robbery, as can be seen from the analysis of the graphic material. They also assume that it was a very well prepared robbery. Now they trust to receive some breath, in response to the offer of the reward. "The authorities are taking with the reward an important step to recover the stolen pieces," said Commissioner Horst Kretzschmar and Attorney General Klaus Rövekamp. "We will not leave a stone in place in our effort to resolve this case," the prosecution said.

To do this, they have created the Epaulette research commission, in which 40 people will participate. The organized crime department of Dresden prosecution has taken the case. By the middle of the year, on a premonitory basis, the museum had created a working group on security in the museum, which however had not started work, according to the public Der Spiegel. In total, the museum of the beautiful German city of Dresden spends eight million euros a year on security.

This week, different experts have explained to the German press that it is up to a point normal that the pieces were not secured. In part, because, as he claimed the morning after the robbery, the museum's address, the jewels of the Dresden crown have "invaluable value." In the pieces there are diamonds, sapphires and gold, but beyond the material value of the stones, what makes this treasure so special is that it is unique sets, whose value far exceeds that of the sum of its elements. The great fear now is that the jewels end up chopped and melted to be sold in parts.

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