Two men were arrested on Monday after they escaped on September 3 from the Nizam Museum in the city of Hyderabad in the south of India, with the box and ruby- and emerald-studded gold cup, among other items.
The alleged perpetrators have been named as Mohammad Ghouse Pasha, 23, a construction laborer, and Mohammad Mubeen, 24, a welder.
But instead of seeking to rake in the money from the artifacts’ sale immediately, the two thieves reveled in using it as an everyday utensil.
“He [Mubeen] said he wanted to feel like the Nizams who ate from golden plates,” said an inspector of the task force that questioned the duo.
“In the seven days since they stole the items, Ghouse and Mubeen bought food from outside and ate from the golden tiffin box with the golden spoon.”
Mubeen had made calls from a Mumbai hotel to friends in Saudi Arabia to find people willing to buy the stolen treasures off him, but failed.
After the duo ran out of money, they returned to Hyderabad on September 10, where they were arrested.
The objects had belonged to Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam, or king, of Hyderabad and who was in 1937 named the richest man on Earth by Time magazine.
The museum, founded in 2000, is home to a collection of more than 450 artifacts donated to the seventh Nizam during his silver jubilee in 1937.