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Thieves broke into Berlin’s Bode Museum and made off with a million-dollar gold coin

REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader
A replica of the bike-wheel-sized Big Maple Leaf.
By Jill Petzinger
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

An enormous Canadian coin called “The Big Maple Leaf” was stolen from Berlin’s Bode Museum in the early hours of March 27. Made of pure gold, the coin has a face value of $1 million, but is worth more than $4 million at today’s gold prices.

Police believe the thief, or thieves, used a step ladder propped up on some adjacent tram tracks to break in through a window at the back of the museum.

“The coin was secured with bullet-proof glass inside the building. That much I can say,” police spokesman Winfrid Wenzel said. ”Neither I nor the Bode Museum can go into detail regarding personnel inside the building, the alarm system or security installations.”

The commemorative coin was issued by the Canadian mint in 2007 and has been on loan to the museum since 2010. With a 53 cm-diameter (21 inches), it weighs a staggering 100 kg (220 lb).

The coin features Queen Elizabeth II on one side and a maple leaf on the other. It’s also in the Guinness Book of Records for the purity of its gold.

The Bode Museum, located in central Mitte district’s Museum Island, houses one of the world’s largest coin collections. The Berlin police has asked any one who noticed anything suspicious between 2am and 4am in the vicinity of the museum to come forward.

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