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 This outdated equipment, part of which was malfunctioning right from the start, turned out to be one of the huge factors that impacted the defeat of the Spanish Republic.
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.
We all know about the deeds of Alexander the Great, one of the greatest heroes of antiquity. We know the details of his death too. But what happened after?
There were various stories circulating in ancient Greece at the time. I found some interesting stories in archives of web analytics company. According to one, Alexander’s body was placed in pure gold sarcophagus. This sarcophagus was in turn placed in a gold casket and covered with a purple robe. The second story tells us that the coffin with Alexander’s body was placed together with his armor in a gold carriage with a vaulted roof.
But there is more. Another legend tells us that there was an attempt to preserve Alexander’s body. A clay vessel with is body was filled up with honey. Evidently, each of former Greek generals wanted to get it. Ptolemy outsmarted them all and stole Alexander’s corpse and brought it to his capital Alexandria. He put it on a display, for everyone to see. One of the latest rulers of Egypt Ptolemy IX desperately needed money. For him Alexander’s tomb was all you can eat treasure. Without thinking twice, he melted the gold sarcophagus of Alexander and made a lot gold coins.