After thieves stole 18th-century jewels from the Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) at Dresden’s Royal Palace this past November, the institution is now investigating four security guards for their alleged role in the heist. According to a report by the Guardian, investigators said that some guards did not “react adequately” when the theft took place.
The guards under investigation are suspected of aiding the thieves by giving them information about the layout and security system of the museum and tampering with alarms, according to the Guardian reports. Seven people are believed to have been involved in the crime.
Jürgen Schmidt, the chief prosecutor in the case, told the German publication Bild that “the suspects have behaved cooperatively and initially said they wanted to speak to investigators, but subsequently they reserved their right to silence.”
The Green Vault, which is part of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen consortium, comprises 10 rooms and holds some 3,000 pieces of jewelry. The collection was created by the Saxon ruler and Polish king August the Strong, who was also a supporter of the arts during his rule in the first half of the 18th century.
The items stolen last year include three diamond jewelry sets, each with 27 separate components, that could together be worth as much as €1 billion. Surveillance footage shows two men breaking a window and entering the Green Vault. They then damaged metal grates and display cases so as to access the priceless jewels.
At the time of the theft, Michael Kretschmer, minister president of Saxony, wrote on Twitter, “Not only have the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen been robbed, but also we Saxons! The history of Saxony cannot be understood without the Grünes Gewölbe.”