Rome: A thief disguised as a security guard on Tuesday duped the unsuspecting staff of a top Italian art gallery into giving him more than 200,000 euros (137,000 pounds), local media reported.

The thief showed up on Tuesday morning at the Pitti Palace, a grandiose renaissance construction in central Florence and one of Italy’s best known museums, wearing the same uniform used by employees of the security firm which every day collects the institution’s takings.

After the cashier staff gave him three bags full of money, he signed a receipt and calmly walked out.

The robbery was only discovered 30 minutes later, when the real security guards turned up to collect the money.

The museum declined comment.

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