6 men on trial over spectacular Dresden museum jewelry heist

BERLIN (AFP) – Six men went to trial in Germany on Friday over the astonishing theft of 18th-century treasures from Dresden’s Green Vault Museum in 2019.

The defendants, aged between 23 and 28, appeared before a regional court in the eastern German city on charges of mass robbery and arson. The theft allegedly led to the theft of 21 jewelry pieces containing about 4,300 gems worth more than 113 million euros ($126 million).

The German news agency reported that prosecutors said in their opening statement that the men were armed with a pistol and a pistol with a silencer.

The Green Vault is one of the oldest museums in the world. It was founded in 1723 and contains the treasury of the mighty Augustus in Saxony, which holds about 4,000 pieces of gold, precious stones and other items. The stolen jewelry has not been recovered.

Two men on trial in 2020 were convicted of a similar theft, the theft of a 100-kilogram (220 lb) Canadian gold coin dubbed the “Big Maple Leaf” from the Bode Museum in Berlin in 2017.

The coin, valued at 3.75 million euros, has also not been recovered. Authorities suspect it may have been cut into smaller pieces and sold.

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