January 3, 2018 / 6:12 PM / 17 days ago

Thieves steal sheikh's Indian jewels from display in Venice

VENICE, Italy (Reuters) - Thieves on Wednesday made off with jewellery worth millions of euros which was on display in Venice’s Doge’s Palace, police said.

At least two thieves are thought to have entered the exhibition of Indian and Indian-inspired gems and artefacts owned by Qatari Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah al-Thani, mixing with other visitors.

Then, while one kept watch, the other opened the display case and grabbed a jewelled golden brooch and a pair of earrings.

The thieves, who police said appeared to have been part of a larger gang, seemed to have been able to delay the museum’s alarm system which only sounded when they were already escaping.

“We are certainly dealing with very skilled professionals, who got away with it even though the building and the rooms were kitted out with very advanced technological systems,” the canal city’s police commissioner Vito Gagliardi said.

The jewellery, which included diamonds, gold and platinum, had been assigned a customs value of just 30,000 euros ($36,084), but they were really worth “a few million euros”, Gagliardi said.

Wednesday was the last opening day for the show, entitled “Treasures of the Mughals and the Maharajahs”. ($1 = 0.8314 euros)

Reporting by Riccardo Bastianello, writing by Isla Binnie; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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