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FRANCE

Million-euro crown stolen from Lyon museum

The Museum of religious art in the Fourviere Basilica in Lyon
The Museum of religious art in the Fourviere Basilica in Lyon AFP

Thieves have stolen a crown studded with 1,791 jewels from a religious art museum in central France. The Museum of Fourvière in the city of Lyon on Saturday confirmed the theft of the Crown of the Virgin, which is estimated to be worth over one million euros.

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The robbers managed to overcome a sophisticated security system to steal the crown and two other pieces from the museum's permanent collection, a ring and a chalice.

Created in 1899 the crown has 1,791 precious stones and pearls donated by well-to-do Lyonese families of the day.

Each gemstone was logged last year by a team of researchers, the museum said, a fact that will help trace any of the crown's parts. 

The museum, situated on a hill next to a basilica, was closed Sunday as investigations continued. 

The museum displays treasures from the basilica which are representative of the work of goldsmiths in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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