Real-life museum thefts often tend to give reel-life robberies a run for their money but this museum theft in Hyderabad took a comical turn when the thieves decided to put the items from their loot to personal use. On September 11, 2018, the Hyderabad Police nabbed two men for stealing a tiffin box, teacup and saucer set and a spoon, all made of gold and encrusted with precious gems, a week after they were sneaked out of the Nizam Museum in Hyderabad.
The three-tiered gold tiffin box, weighing almost 2 kg, is encrusted with diamonds and rubies and decorated with intricate engravings. According to police estimates, the stolen items are worth about Rs 500 crore in the international antique market. The thieves, one of whom had contacts in the Gulf, made unsuccessful attempts to sell the items. But while they were in possession of the golden tiffin box and tea set, the thieves decided to dine like royalty. They ordered food from outside and used the tiffin box and spoon to eat their meals and drank water out of the gold, emerald-encrusted teacup, informed several media reports. After their arrest, they told the police that they relished eating from the tiffin box.
As it turns out, when one of the thieves visited the museum a few months ago, he was intrigued by the gold tiffin box on display at the museum and wanted a taste of royalty for himself. "He said he wanted to feel like the Nizams who ate from plates made of gold," a police officer told the media.
Most of the items on display at the museum, including the ones that were stolen, were gifts received by the seventh and last Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan, for the silver jubilee celebrations of his coronation in 1937. In the same year, Mir Osman Ali Khan was also on the cover of Times magazine for being the richest man in the world. Considering it was a gift, it is likely the Nizam himself may not have used the tiffin box. Little did he know that two thieves in their 20s would do the honours half a century later.
While details of the exact food that the thieves consumed out of these golden items are unclear, if you ever happen to find yourself in the possession of a Nizam-era tiffin box, we suggest you fill it to the brim with biryani which was equally relished in the kitchens of the Nizams of Hyderabad as it is today.
Meanwhile, these are the places in Hyderabad where Dia Mirza likes to dine every time she finds herself in the city.
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