GERMANY: GERMAN AUTHORITIES UNVEIL A HOARD OF BURIED TREASURE MISSING SINCE THE RED ARMY INVADED AT THE END OF...
- Title: GERMANY: GERMAN AUTHORITIES UNVEIL A HOARD OF BURIED TREASURE MISSING SINCE THE RED ARMY INVADED AT THE END OF WORLD WAR TWO OVER FIFTY YEARS AGO
- Date: 8th October 1996
- Summary: DRESDEN, GERMANY (OCTOBER 8, 1996) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. LV OF ELBE RIVER GOING THROUGH CITY CENTRE 0.05 2. SLV EXTERIOR DRESDEN CASTLE (2 SHOTS) 0.08 3. SV/CU STATUE: ST MAURITIUS / STATUE: ST MARY (4 SHOTS0 0.43 4. CU KING OF SAXONY'S NECKLACE DATING FROM EARLY 19TH CENTURY 0.47 5. CU GOLD DRINKING CUP MADE FROM BUFFALO HIDE, DATING FROM 1580/FLOWERBASKET DATING FROM 1725 0.55 6. SV EHIBITS 0.59 7. MCU DIRK SUENDRAHM, DIERECTOR OF GRUENES GEWOELBE (GREEN VAULT) TREASURE CHAMBER IN DRESDEN'S ROYAL PALACE SAYING THIS IS A SENSATIONAL FIND. IT WAS LIKE A FLASH. WHEN I SAW THE BASKET WHICH I HAD READ ABOUT IT WAS ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE. A FANTASTIC PIECE. TO THINK THAT SOMETHING HAS BEEN LOST FOR EVER AND THEN ACTUALLY FIND IT IS A SENSATIONAL EXPERIENCE (GERMAN) 1.44 8. CU SILVER CROSS (2 SHOTS) 1.50 9. CU OF EXHIBITS 2.00 11. SV SUENDRAHM HOLDING BOX OF COINS 2.08 12. SV MEDIA 2.11 13. LV EXTERIOR DRESDEN PALACE 2.17 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVA8RDVOQ0AGAPDTTA5HWOCXVX4G
- Location: DRESDEN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Duration: 00:02:17
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: INTRO: An amateur treasure-seeker with a metal detector has unearthed a hoard of buried treasure, missing for 50 years since it was hidden from the invading Red Army.
-------------------------------------------------------------------- German authorities on Tuesday (October 8) unveiled a hoard of buried treasure, missing for 50 years since it was hidden from the invading Red Army and unearthed by an amateur treasure-seeker with a metal detector.
The hoard stems from the House of Wettin, the dynasty which provided the Kings of Saxony in the 19th century.
Part of it was found by the Soviet forces who invaded in 1945 in the final months of World War Two and taken away as war booty, its fate largely unknown.
But the three crates unearthed by the treasure-hunter in sandy woodland north of Dresden in eastern Germany had eluded not only the Red Army but also the descendants of the Wettins, who themselves lost track of the hoard.
"It's a sensational find," said Dirk Suendrahm, director of the Gruenes Gewoelbe (Green Vault) treasure chamber in Dresden's royal palace.
"I felt as if I'd been struck by lightning. It's an amazing experience when you see things like this which you'd believed were lost." The 150 or so pieces now discovered near the Wettins' Moritzburg hunting lodge include priceless examples of 16th century goldsmiths' work, among them a goblet in the shape of a Moor's head by Wenzel Jamnitzer and a novelty cup in the shape of a griffin's claw.
Also found were a 19th century silver table service bearing the family coat of arms and an important collection of 19th and 20th century medals and coins.
Despite being wrapped in oiled or tarred paper, many of the pieces are badly corroded and need costly restoration.
Authorities fear treasure-seekers will now descend on the area seeking other parts of the hoard, and have kept the identity of the finder and location of the find secret.
The finder, who took most of the treasure home in his car and polished some of it up over two days before telling the authorities, may yet have the pleasure of his discovery spoilt.
Because he had not obtained a permit to comb the area with a metal detector, he not only stands to lose the reward which would be usual in such cases, but may actually face charges for his illegal action.
The discovery may also have consequences for long-standing attempts to persuade Russia to return or at least acknowledge some of the hundreds of crates of valuables that its booty commissioners took away as reparation after 1945.
The Wettins lost track of their treasure after the death of Prince Ernst Heinrich in the 1950s, so that it is now hard to establish what was sold between their abdication in 1918 and the outbreak of the war, and what was lost.
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- Embargoed:23rd October 1996 13:00