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THEFT

Crown with 1,800 gem stones stolen from museum in Lyon

A 19th century crown, encrusted with almost 1,800 gem stones, has been stolen from a museum of religious art in central France, the museum authorities have said.

Crown with 1,800 gem stones stolen from museum in Lyon
Photo: AFP
The thieves broke in overnight Friday and managed to overcome the “sophisticated security system” at the Museum of Fourviere in the city of Lyon, the museum said in a statement.
 
They got away with the Crown of the Virgin, the centrepiece of the collection, which was created in 1899 with 1,791 precious stones and pearls gifted by well-to-do Lyonese families of the day.
   
The value of the piece was put at “a little over a million euros”. Each gemstone was painstakingly logged last year by a team of researchers, the museum said, a fact that will help trace each part of it.
 
The robbers got away with two other pieces from the museum's permanent collection, a ring and a chalice.
 
The museum, situated on a hill next to a basilica, was closed as investigations continued.
 
The museum displays treasures from the basilica which are  representative of the work of goldsmiths in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
 
 
 
 

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THEFT

Cash delivery van driver disappears in France with €1 million

The driver of an armoured cash delivery van disappeared outside Paris early on Monday along with an estimated one million euros, police sources told AFP.

Cash delivery van driver disappears in France with €1 million
File photo: AFP
The 28-year-old man had stopped in front of a Western Union office at around 6:00 am (0500 GMT) in Aubervilliers, a suburb just north of the capital, and stayed behind the wheel as two of his colleagues went inside.
   
“When they came back out, the van and the driver were gone,” one of the sources said.
 
The van was found soon afterwards a few blocks away with its doors wide open, but the driver and the bags of cash, worth some $1.13 million, were nowhere to be found.
   
The two other employees had not been injured, the source said.
   
Loomis, the armoured van company, did not return calls seeking comment.
   
An inquiry has been opened by France's anti-gang squad.
 
The last major such heist was in November 2009 when Toni Musulin fled in the armoured van he was driving with at least 11.5 million euros in cash collected from a Bank of France building in Lyon.
   
He was caught after a little more than a week on the run.
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