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Over $1 million worth of Qatari-owned jewels stolen in scandalous Venice museum theft Open in fullscreen

The New Arab & agencies

Over $1 million worth of Qatari-owned jewels stolen in scandalous Venice museum theft

Several items were stolen from the unique collection belonging to Qatar's royal family [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 January, 2018

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The stealthily operated heist of one-of-a-kind jewels from the famous Doge's Palace has Italian police scratching their heads.
Over a million dollar's worth of Mughal-era jewellery belonging to a member of the Qatari royal family was stolen from the Doge's Palace in Venice in a heist that took place on Wednesday, according to reports.

The Italian police estimate the value of the stolen goods, which constitute a pair of earrings and a brooch, at $1.2 million.

The jewels were stolen on the final day of the four-month-long exhibition at the palace, entitled, 'Treasures of the Mughals and the Maharajahs', comprising of 270 pieces of Indian and Indian-inspired jewellery and precious stones, showcasing five centuries of Indian craftsmanship. 

According to Forbes magazine, there is "no comparable collection" in the world.

Investigators said the pair must have been professional thieves, as they had managed to take the items from a reinforced display case after deactivating the alarm system before melting into the crowd and making good their escape.

The alarm was raised only several hours later at Palazzo Ducale in Italy, in central Venice at one end of Saint Mark's Square.

"We are clearly dealing here with two skilled professionals who managed to pull off their feat despite all the display rooms being fitted with technologically highly sophisticated (alarm) systems," chief police commissioner Vito Gagliardi said.

The collection was assembled by Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani and now belongs to Qatar's ruling family.

Despite the stolen items reportedly being made of gold, platinum and diamonds, the foundation who run the Doge's Palace, said in a statement that the items were "contemporary pieces and consequently are of less historical value than other items in the collection".

The police added that the unique nature of the stolen items made them almost impossible to sell on.

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