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Sweden's crown jewels
High Jewellery In The News

Sweden’s lost crown jewels found in a trash bin?

A hollywood-style robbery might have found its happy ending.

Sweden’s crown jewels, which were stolen last summer by thieves who made their getaway in a speedboat, appear to have been found lying on top of a bin in Stockholm, according to a police report.

Two pearl-encrusted gold crowns, made for Charles IX and Queen Kristina at the start of the 17th century, were among the artefacts taken from a display cabinet in Strängnäs Cathedral last July. They are estimated to be worth a total of £5.5 million.

The trial of a suspect was adjourned yesterday as police revealed that the crowns had been discovered by a security guard in the northern suburb of Åkersberga. There were no obvious signs of damage. Prosecutors are not yet “100 per cent certain” that they are real.

“Every indication now suggests that Karl IX’s stolen funeral regalia has been found in the Stockholm area, but the police are working intensively to have it confirmed 100 percent,” they said in a statement.

The crowns and an orb were created for the burials of Charles IX, in 1611, and of Queen Kristina, in 1625, after Sweden had freed itself from the Danish-dominated Union of Kalmar and was emerging as a dominant Protestant power in Europe.

Sweden's crown jewels
Sweden’s Crown Jewels (Epa)

The stolen items are made of gold, precious stones and pearls and had been locked away in displays with alarms. The theft happened just before noon on a weekday when the cathedral was open to visitors.

Two men fled on women’s bicycles, later escaping by boat through the labyrinth of lakes west of Stockholm. Using traces of blood found at the scene, police identified an unnamed 22-year-old man as a suspect. He admitted in court that he stole a bicycle and a speedboat but denied any involvement in the robbery.

Six years ago, in 2013, in another display cabinet in another nearby church, thieves stole King Johan III’s crown – a very precious artefact to be found time later in a trash bin, too.

“Every indication now suggests that Karl IX’s stolen funeral regalia has been found in the Stockholm area, but the police are working intensively to have it confirmed 100 per cent,” they said in a statement.

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