The German police announced it is offering a reward of €500,000 for any clues that will help its investigation of the mysterious thieves who broke into the Dresden Museum Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault), stealing jewellery and priceless treasure in one of the biggest robberies in the country.

The thieves’ lightning entrance last Monday into the museum which hosts one of the most important collections of treasures in Europe has left the investigators confused despite the audiovisual material from the security camera showing two men breaking in through a barred window.

“We will stop at nothing to solve this case” said head of Saxony Police Horst Kretzschmar and prosecutor Klaus Roevekamp in a joint statement.

“By offering a reward today of half a million Euros for clues leading to the arrest of the perpetrators who broke into the Green Vault in Dresden, the investigators are taking another important step in bringing back the stolen items and arresting those responsible”, they stressed.

The audiovisual material shows two men using a hammer to smash a show case inside which are the jewels. The security guards became aware of the incident and quickly phoned the police who arrived after five minutes but it was already too late.

Most experts point out that the cultural worth of the stolen items, which include three sets of 18th century jewellery, is greater than their market value. They fear that the jewellery will be cut up and sold in smaller pieces.

The collection of gemstones, sculptures and of gold and silver jewellery was started in the 18th century by August the Strong, Elector of Saxony and later King of Poland.

According to the museum’s head, the stolen items include ten pieces of jewellery and treasures bearing a total of several “hundreds” of diamonds, among them a sword encrusted with nine large diamonds and 770 small diamonds, as well as three sets of jewellery with diamonds and rubies of incalculable value. Among them is a 49-carat diamond known as the “Dresden white” or the “white Saxony diamond”.

The police also mentioned that a team of 40 investigators is working to shed light on the case. The investigations are headed by the Organized Crime Prosecution Division of the Saxony state prosecutors.