A museum in Germany that lost treasures worth EUR 113 million when it was robbed in 2019 has received a chess set worth nearly EUR one million as a present to mark its 300th anniversary.
The Green Vault – located in Dresden, Saxony – was founded by Augustus the Strong of Poland and Saxony in 1723.
Now the renowned institution’s director Marius Winzeler revealed that the Berlin branch of the Munich-headquartered Ernst von Siemens Art Foundation has spent around EUR one million on an 18th-century chess set to provide the Green Vault with it in a permanent loan deal.
Initially estimated to be worth between GBP 150,000 and 250,000 by experts, the precious chess set fetched GBP 416,750 at Christie’s in London in July 2018.
Acquired by an unidentified bidder, the set – which measures around 22 * 22 inches (56 * 56 centimetres) – was then put on display at Kugel, an art gallery in Paris.
In a statement from 3rd August obtained by Newsflash, museum director Winzeler said: “The set’s astonishing miniature ivory pieces will fascinate visitors while researchers will be enabled to draw new conclusions.”
The Green Vault director added: “Each of the 32 pieces has been skilfully carved. None of them are taller than eight centimetres (3.15 in). All of them were created individually.”
Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung General Secretary Martin Hoernes said: “To mark the Green Vault’s anniversary, a truly unique, royal present was the only option.
He added: “This chess set represents pure luxury. Skilfully crafted using only the most precious materials, it is a feast for the eyes.”
Hoernes is quoted by local media as saying: “We spent nearly EUR one million (GBP 860,000) on it.”
For centuries, the silver-inlaid chess set – presumably created between 1705 and 1709 – is believed to have been owned by the Von Muench family, a German dynasty of bankers.
It is attributed to Paul Heermann (1673-1732), one of Saxon’s most esteemed Baroque sculptors.
It will now go on display at the Dresden Castle exhibition rooms of the Green Vault which is one of the oldest museums in the world.
In the robbery that happened in the Green Vault museum in November 2019, jewellery pieces worth more than EUR 113 million (GBP 97.6 million) was stolen.
Authorities returned 31 objects to the museum after securing them overnight in Berlin.
Five people were sentenced to prison for the heist.
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Story By: Thomas Hochwarter, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
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