Descendants of Italy’s last king have formally requested that the state return their priceless jewels.
Representatives of Italy’s monarchy will be meeting with lawyers on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of negotiating the transfer of the Crown Jewels of Italy to the Savoy Family. The jewels have been in the Bank of Italy’s possession since 1946. Should they fail to reach an agreement, the Savoys plan to sue the state, Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.
In one way or another “the Savoy family will get the jewels back,” the family’s lawyer stated.
Encompassing more than 6,700 diamonds and 2,000 pearls mounted on necklaces, bracelets, tiaras, and brooches, the collection is valued somewhere between €18 million ($20.3 million) and €300 million ($338 million). No evaluation has been carried out, and the jewels haven’t been in royal hands for more than 75 years.
Italians voted to abolish the country’s monarchy in June 1946, and King Umberto II, who had ruled for just over a month at that point, was banished into exile shortly afterwards. Umberto, however, had given the jewels to Bank of Italy to be safe-keeping, before leaving Italy. They are still there to this day.
The jewels were never formally confiscated by the Italian government, a fact that Umberto’s descendants in the House of Savoy are hoping will count in their favor when asking for them back. In 1946, the delivery report accompanying the jewels to bank said that they would be available to anyone with the necessary paperwork. “right”They will.
In November 2011, the Savoys made an informal request to the bank for the jewels’ return. The bank refused. They have yet not initiated any formal actions to retrieve the collection. Umberto’s male descendants were allowed back in Italy only since 2002. They had lived 65 years between Portugal and Switzerland before they were exiled.
Upon his return to Italy in 2003, Umberto’s son, Vittorio Emanuele, claimed that he no longer wanted the jewels, suggesting they be put on display instead, something that never happened.
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