Solid gold coin worth £3.2 million stolen from Berlin museum

The giant coin bears the Queen’s image

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A giant gold coin worth £3.2 million bearing Queen Elizabeth II's image has been stolen from a museum in Germany.

The Canadian coin, nicknamed the 'big maple leaf', is 220lb (100kg) of pure 24-carat gold, and is a commemorative piece that was issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007.

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The thieves somehow managed to carry the half-metre coin away from the Bode Museum in Berlin at around 3.30am on Monday morning.

It's not yet clear exactly how they managed to carry the large coin out or evade the alarm system.

According to the BBC, police spokesman Winfrid Wenzel told Reuters: "Based on the information we have so far we believe that the thief, maybe thieves, broke open a window in the back of the museum next to the railway tracks.

"They then managed to enter the building and went to the coin exhibition."

He added that the coin was secured with bullet-proof glass inside the building but didn't discuss details about security staff or the alarm system.

According to the Telegraph, German police said on Twitter that the thieves probably used a ladder to break into the museum.

The coin holds a Guinness world record for the purity of its gold. It is 53cm wide and three centimetres thick, and carries the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on one side, as head of state, while the other side bears the Canadian national symbol of the maple leaf.

Mr Wenzel added that he thought it likely the coin would be melted down by the thieves.

Best museums in the world 2016 (according to TripAdvisor)

Best museums in the world 2016 (according to TripAdvisor)