Imperial Jewels Kremlin

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The Diamond Fund at the Kremlin contains thousands of priceless treasures - including gems, jewelry and gold nuggets. Set up by Peter the Great at the beginning of the 18th century, the collection is still growing.The jewels were put on public display in the 1960s and remain a popular tourist attraction.Yuriy Bokarev, historian, Russian Academy of Sciences, speaking Russian: There was the first wave of sell-offs after the Revolution. These were tough times and it was necessary to sell some jewels to provide poor people with food. Irina Polynina, Chief Expert, Diamond Fund, speaking Russian: People are always asking me how much all of this costs. But these things are priceless - imagine the historical value of a crown worn by seven Russian emperors. There are always some visitors, who ask, why you keep them. Could they not be spent on building houses? Of its thousands of jewels, the Diamond Fund inside the Kremlin only displays the most astonishing items.And heading the collection - the Imperial Jewels worn by the Romanovs since Catherine the Great, including the Imperial Crown decorated with nearly 5,000 diamonds and the second largest spinel in the world.Chief Expert of the Diamond Fund, Irina Polynina, says the jewels cannot be valued in monetary terms: People are always asking me how much all of this costs. But these things are priceless - imagine the historical value of a crown worn by seven Russian emperors.She goes on to say that some visitors do not understand the historical value of this opulence and consider it inappropriate: There are always some visitors, who ask, why you keep them. Could they not be spent on building houses? It was Peter the Great who first assembled the vast treasures of the Russian Tsars into one secure collection. But even the best vaults could not protect the jewels from the Bolsheviks. After the Russian Revolution, the majority of pieces were auctioned off at Christie's in London.Historians have claimed that during the 1920s the crown jewels were stored in a diplomat's house in Dublin, as collateral for a loan of 25,000 pounds that Ireland gave to the USSR.There was the first wave of sell-offs after the Revolution. These were tough times and it was necessary to sell some jewels to provide poor people with food, historian Yuriy Bokarev says.But he is more concerned about what pieces may have disappeared after the fall of the Soviet Union. Many of the thefts, he believes, were hushed up.Yet, the most valuable are still in Moscow. An 88-carat Shah diamond with very unusual inscriptions is among them. First it was in the possession of Indian moguls, then Persian rulers, but it was delivered to the Tsar after the Russian Ambassador was slain in Tehran. As a result of this gift, a war may have been avoided.The treasure was first exhibited to the Russian public in November 1967. Originally a short-term show, in 1968 it became a permanent exhibition in the Kremlin Armory building.

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Museums
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romanov, imperial jewels, kremlin exhibit moscow
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