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One-million-dollar coin stolen from Berlin museum

March 27, 2017

Through a spectacular heist, a precious and extremely heavy coin has been stolen from Berlin's Bode Museum.

Big Maple Leaf coin from Bode Museum
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/M. Mettelsiefen

A unique coin was stolen from the Bode Museum in Berlin early Monday morning, at around 3:30 a.m., as stated in a tweet by Berlin's police:

The face value of the coin is one million dollars, but its market value is estimated at four million dollars. Called the "Big Maple Leaf," the piece weighs 100 kilograms (220 pounds). Issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007, like all Canadian coins, it features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. It has a diameter of 53 centimeters (21 inches) and is three centimeters thick. The piece has also entered the Guinness Book of Records for its unsurpassed purity of 999.99/1000 gold.

On show at the Bode Museum since 2010, it is part of the Münzkabinett collection, Berlin's most important archive of coinage, which includes more than 540,000 objects altogether.

The thieves are believed to have broken into the building located on Berlin's famous Museum Island by setting up a ladder from the adjacent tram tracks. The rail service was interrupted when the ladder was found. Investigators have not revealed how the burglars managed to avoid setting off alarms and leave the museum unnoticed while carrying the heavy piece.

eg/kbm (dpa, AFP)