Burglars have stolen three diamond jewellery sets from one of Europe’s largest treasure collections – the Dresden Green Vault in Eastern Germany.
The historic sets consist of 37 parts each, and there are fears the thieves may try to break them up.
Officials are still trying to establish exactly how much was stolen in the break-in early on Monday.
Saxony’s ruler, Augustus the Strong, created the collection in 1723 in what is one of the world’s oldest museums.
Image caption: The Green Vault is a world-famous treasure collection, Image copyright AFP
“Three out of 10 diamond sets has gone,” said Marion Ackermann, head of the Dresden state museums.
The stolen sets from the Green Vault (Grünes Gewölbe) are reported to also include some rubies, emeralds and sapphires.
How did the thieves get in?
The thieves – still on the run – removed part of an iron grille on a ground-floor window, then smashed the glass.
At about 05:00 (04:00 GMT) on Monday, firefighters were called to tackle a blaze in a nearby electricity junction box.
There is speculation that the fire disabled the museum’s alarm system. It put out some of the street lights.
Police are examining CCTV footage which shows two suspects in the dark. But more people may have been involved in the robbery.
A car found burning in Dresden early on Monday may have been the getaway vehicle used by the burglars, police say.
The museum had guards on duty at night, Ms Ackermann said.
Dozens of police cars are at the scene and the Green Vault in central Dresden is now shut.