After everything that has been known so far about the break-in into the green vault in Dresden, the perpetrators have taken very targeted action - and almost cinematic. At first they set fire to a power box, which supplies the famous museum in Dresden's old town with energy. Then they boarded the Dresden Residenzschloss and got into the treasury of the Grünes Gewölbe. The rooms of the museum are actually strictly secured.
The raid is likely to be one of the most spectacular in recent years. The criminals have probably stolen historical jewelry, diamonds and other gems - which is exactly what is not known yet. But according to the "image" the damage could go into the billions.
The Green Vault is one of the oldest museums in Europe, with one of the richest treasuries. A total of more than 4,000 exhibits will be presented in the west wing of the Dresden Residenzschloss. On the ground floor there is the Historical Green Vault with the vast majority of the collection, one floor up the New Green Vault, where special individual pieces are presented.
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The perpetrators were apparently only in the historical part on forays. The collection also includes pieces from the Middle Ages. In the Luther Cabinet, for example, a signet ring of the reformer is shown. But above all, the magnificently furnished rooms of the historical part house around 3,000 masterpieces made of gold, silver, gemstones, ivory, amber, rock crystal or tortoiseshell - mostly laid out freely on consoles and tables in front of mirrored walls. The value of the art objects is in the billions.
One of Europe's greatest gems
Visitors must cross an air-conditioning and dust lock before entering the ten rooms. Among the showpieces of the exhibition are works by the court goldsmith Augustus the Strong (1670-1733). From 1723 to 1729, the dazzling Wettin prince and Polish king, with the help of the architect Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann, set up the baroque treasury to present his wealth to a select public.
Today, for example, here is the "Moor with emerald". The more than 60 centimeters large sculpture is occupied with emeralds, rubies, sapphires, topazes, grenades, almandines and tortoiseshell. August the Strong had them made in 1724 to showcase 16 Colombian-derived gemstones. The so-called "jewelery sets" are presented here, they are among the largest gems in Europe. Different gemstones and pearls were processed into unique pieces of jewelery. Another highlight of the goldsmith's work on display is the "Obeliscus Augustalis", a more than two-meter high obelisk with 240 gemstones.
Among the treasures in Dresden include, among other things, various pieces of amber: These include about the amber cabinet cabinet, he was once a gift from Frederick II of Prussia to August III. and was made in Königsberg.
2.6 million visitors per year
The museum is one of the visitor magnets of Dresden. According to statistics from the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, which included the Grüne Gewölbe, between 2014 and 2018, more than 2.6 million visitors came together in both exhibitions.
The Historic Green Vault was inaugurated in 2006 after years of extensive renovation by Chancellor Angela Merkel. The New Vault celebrated its opening in 2004. Three rooms of the vault had been destroyed at the end of the Second World War in 1945 during bombing raids.
The Red Army confiscated the already in 1942 on the fortress Königstein in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains outsourced treasures and brought them to the Soviet Union. In 1958, the collection returned, a selection of treasure trove stocks has been shown since 1974, first in the Dresden Albertinum. The Free State of Saxony invested 45 million euros in the 15-year restoration of the Baroque rooms - from the Amber Cabinet to the Pretiosensaal to the Jewel Room.
After all: One of the most valuable pieces of the collection could not capture the thieves - the Green Diamond. He is usually exhibited in the New Green Vault, but is currently being awarded and shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The stone, originally from India or Brazil, has 41 carat and is considered the largest green diamond in the world.