Historical jewelry and other assorted items from the Qatari royal collection were stolen from an art exhibit earlier this week in Venice, Italy.
At least two thieves made off with parts of the collection without tripping the alarm system, authorities said.
“The glass case was opened up as it if were a tin can, while the alarm, if it worked at all, went off late,” Police Chief Vito Gagliardi said.
The items, reportedly a set of earrings and a brooch, were included in a collection of Indian jewelry being shown at the Doge’s Palace in Venice. The “Treasures of the Mughals and the Maharajahs” exhibition, part of the Al Thani collection, includes items from 400 years of India’s history. It was assembled by the Qatari royal family, which currently owns the collection..
The theft took place on Wednesday, the final day of the exhibition’s time in Venice, authorities said. It was only hours after the theft took place that anyone knew about it.
Authorities doubt that the stolen jewelry will be sellable right away on the black market. The notoriety of the jewels in question make them difficult to sell, though some items could be sold off individually, rather than all together.
The items that were stolen were “contemporary pieces and consequently are of less historical value than other items in the collection,” a statement from the Venice’s Foundation of Civic Museums read.
Although the items weren't the most important pieces of the collection, they still contained gold, diamonds and platinum, and are worth millions of euros on their own, police said.