ROME – Historic jewels belonging to the collection of ruling family of the Persian Gulf state of Qatar have been stolen from an exhibition at the Doge’s Palace in Venice, palace sources told EFE on Wednesday.
The jewels belonged to the Qatari Sheikh al-Thani, and their theft has meant that the iconic Venetian landmark building was temporarily closed to the public and those in the exhibition space were not permitted to leave for a few hours while police investigated the heist.
Local media reported that police had watched security footage and seen how two people forced a glass case open and stole a golden brooch and earrings.
The palace, opened in 1340, had been hosting since September an exhibition of treasures from the Moghul empire that once governed India.
Some gems that once belonged to fabulously wealthy Maharajas had been acquired by the al-Thani collection.
The stolen items were being kept in a glass case and, according to local media, had an estimated value of 30,000 euros ($36,000).
Wednesday was to have been the last day of the exhibition, which gathered 270 dazzling objects from the 16th to 20th centuries.
They included gemstones and antique jewelry supposedly belonging to the descendants of Genghis Khan and to the great Maharajas.