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Sep 10, 2008

When I was going through the archives of my local web analytics company, I found another interesting case, when major government in Europe was cheated and lost its national treasure to Bolsheviks. This case is related to the Civil war in Spain in the thirties of the twentieth century. It is called infamously Moscow gold case.

Short lived Spanish Republic desperately needed arms and military equipment but other European countries did not want to get involved in the civil war and did not sell anything to the Spaniards. The only country that ignored this embargo was the Soviet Union. That is why in 1937 the Spanish republic sent most of the gold reserves from its national Treasure to Russians. One must say, that at the time Spain was on the fourth place in the world for its stored gold. And the USSR got most of it, which amounted at the time to five hundred million dollars.

When Franco and his supporters learned about it, they heavily protested this transaction, stating that this gold belongs to the people and not to the Spanish government. But the transaction turned sour for the republicans because Soviets sold them all kind of military junk stored since World War I. Besides, prices were extremely inflated for each rifle and each bullet. This outdated equipment, part of which was malfunctioning right from the start, turned out to be one of the huge factors that impacted the defeat of the Spanish Republic.

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Posted: Sep 10, 2008 11:18pm
Sep 10, 2008

When World War I started Romania was on the side of the Entente Powers. Its military campaign was against Germany was not successful and soon German troops moved into Romania and even occupied its capital Bucharest. Romain administration had no other choice but to send its national Treasure abroad. It was hard to choose which Ally country would safe keep the Treasure until bad times are over. There were plans to send it to England or the United States but Germans troops controlled Central Europe and there was a big chance that they would intercept the Treasure. Sweden or Denmark were another choice but there was a problem to transport all values there safely because German submarines were all over the North Sea.

In this hard situation the decision had been made to send Romanian national Treasure to tsarist Russia. I found more additional facts of this story in archives of web analytics company. According to mutual agreement Russia would safe keep Treasure until the end of the war. Under heavy guard almost hundred tonnes of gold bars and coins with the total cost of 1.25 billion dollars was sent to Moscow and safely got there. Soon situation at the front became even worse for Romania, so its administration send additional valuable transport to Russia. It included priceless items, like jewels of Romanian royalty, jewels of ancient rulers, jewels dated to the time of Roman empire and antique jewels of the pre Roman era. But this was not all.

Read on ...

May 1, 2008

Pharaohs in ancient Egypt had three crowns: red, white and blue. Red and white eventually became a double crown symbolizing united kingdoms of Lower and Upper Egypt. During military campaigns, especially battles, pharaoh wore the blue crown. I found this interesting story in archives of web analytics company. All of these crowns typically were adorned by a uraeus - stylized, upright form of an Egyptian spitting cobra, used as a symbol of sovereignty, royalty, deity, and divine authority.

For the last two hundred years archaeologists discovered a lot about ancient Egypt. But never, not even once, any pharaohs crown was found. We only know about them from various depictions and portraits of Egyptian rulers.

It is quite mysterious that in spite of so many searches no crown was discovered in tombs either. Of course, many tombs were robbed by grave diggers. Yet, Tutankhamun's tomb, discovered intact. It contained many regal items but not a crown. Crowns were assumed to have magical properties. So it is possible that there were items a dead pharaoh could not take with him and therefore all crowns had to be passed along to his living successor.


 

 
 
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Ekaterina G.
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Delray Beach, FL, USA
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