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treasure heist

Thieves pull off what is reportedly 'one of the greatest heists in modern history' at German museum

In what may feel like a plot from an Ocean's film, thieves in Germany have pulled off what is reportedly one of the greatest heists in modern history. Up to 1 billion euros worth of historic treasures were stolen from the Green Vault Museum in Dresden, Germany, early Monday morning.

Both German police and media are calling it one of the largest art thefts since the second World War, reports Agence France-Presse. The museum itself is one of the oldest in Europe; it's home to around 4,000 cherished valuables made of ivory, silver, gold, and jewels.

To pull off the brazen robbery, the burglars reportedly cut the power from a nearby distributor, which caused an electrical fire and deactivated the museum's alarm system. They did not go entirely undetected, however — NBC News reports the two suspects were caught on surveillance video entering the museum by bending the iron bar fence and breaking through a glass window.

Marion Ackerman, the director of Dresden's art collections, said the stolen items included "priceless" sets of diamonds, notes The Guardian. The sets included brilliant-cut diamonds from an 18th-century jewelry collection. Ackerman said the items are of "inestimable art historical and cultural-historical value."

Local authorities have yet to identify the specific items missing or make any arrests, police spokesman Marco Laske said.

Michael Krestschmer, the Minister President of Saxony, where Dresden resides, tweeted in response to the incident. "Not only the state art collections were robbed, but we Saxons," he said, per a translation of his tweet. "One can't understand the story of Saxony, without the Green Vault." Police and investigators are still on the scene and the Green Vault is shut, notes The Daily Beast.