The priceless, irreplaceable jewels stolen from the German museum were not covered by insurance.
The day following a priceless jewelry and artifact museum theft in Germany, an unfortunate discovery was made. The items estimated to be worth over $1 billion are not covered by an insurance policy.
This has added to the pressure on police to identify and locate the culprits in order to return the items.
Last week’s museum theft made international headlines. The missing items include a pearl necklace, a diamond-encrusted dagger as well as dozens of other precious gem-coated artifacts.
The Green Vault museum is located in Dresden, in the German state of Saxony. Its owner has explained that the decision had been made specifically not to insure the jewels in their exhibits. The Finance Ministry explained that this was standard practice for many museums and galleries as the premiums to cover such items are high enough that the cost of paying them over the long-term would exceed potential losses from theft and damage.
Ergo Group AG head of fine art and jewelry, Julia Ries, stated that public museums will usually purchase insurance for art and artifacts loaned out to other institutions. However, when it comes to their own permanent collections remaining within their own walls, it is common to leave the pieces uninsured due to excessive cost.
This type of museum theft involves uninsured items because budgets are too tight to afford premiums.
“The budgets of public museums are limited,” explained Ries. “You can’t replace such a collection from a monetary or art-historic value. If the jewels aren’t recovered, this part of the collection will be lost forever.”
The fact that all the stolen items were uninsured was revealed to the public as the incident’s details started to unfold through the police investigation. Local police believe that the thieves deliberately set a fire near the Green Vault in order to cause a power outage. Once the power was shut off, the burglars smashed a window to gain entrance to Green Vault.
It is not known how many people were involved in the museum theft. That said, it is known that two people participated in rapidly smashing a display case and grabbing the artifacts before taking off. In a Bloomberg report, the police said that the entire burglary took “just a few minutes.”