Press Esc to close
Friday 18 August 2017
News updated at 2:45 AM IST

Indian gems found in Alps may be given to French climber

London, Sep 27, 2013 (PTI): 18:14 IST
Reuters Image. For representation only
An unnamed young French alpinist, who stumbled on a chest of Indian jewels while climbing a glacier in the Alps, may be given possession of the treasure trove worth 205,000 pounds if nobody claims it.

The shoe-box size metal container with emeralds, rubies and sapphires neatly packed into sachets, some marked 'Made in India', was discovered off Mont Blanc in the Alps.
The historic haul, valued by French jewellers at around 205,000 pounds, is believed to have belonged to someone on one of two Air India flights that crashed off the world-famous mountain in 1950 and 1966, killing over 100 people.

French authorities are now in the process of contacting their Indian counterparts to determine the jewels' rightful owners.

French media reported that if an owner is not found, under French law, the jewels could be given to the climber, who was not identified by the authorities.

French officials have praised the mountaineer's honesty after he immediately reported the find to local police.

"This was an honest young man who very quickly realised that they belonged to someone who died on the glacier. He could have kept them but he preferred to give them to the police," local police chief Sylvain Merly was quoted as saying by The Guardian newspaper.

Climbers in the region have frequently found debris and remains from the two Air India aircraft over the years.

Last year, two climbers on the glacier discovered a well-preserved bag of Indian diplomatic mail neatly marked "Ministry of External Affairs" that had been on the Boeing 707 flight from Mumbai to New York that crashed near the summit of Mont Blanc in January 1966.

That crash killed all 11 crew and 106 passengers, including the pioneer of India's nuclear programme, Homi Jehangir Bhaba.

The cause of the crash was never fully established but the mail bag, found 46 years later by a mountain rescue worker and a fellow climber in 2012, was handed back to the Indian government.

In 1950, another Air India flight, a four-motor propeller plane, crashed near the same spot, killing 48 passengers and crew as it was expected to land at Geneva. The jewels are thought more likely to have come from the 1966 crash.

Mont Blanc, hailed as one of the world's most beautiful mountains, has a history of dangerous storms and fatal avalanches.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A fruit vendor, holding an umbrella, waits for customers at a street in Kolkata on Thursday.

A fruit vendor, holding an umbrella, waits for customers at a street in Kolkata on Thursday.

Ranbir Kapoor, actor and co-owner Mumbai City FC meeting fans during the Indian Super League...

Ranbir Kapoor, actor and co-owner Mumbai City FC meeting fans during the Indian Super League...

India's Ramandeep Singh in action against Austria in their final encounter of the Europe Tour...

India's Ramandeep Singh in action against Austria in their final encounter of the Europe Tour...

People from Parsi community cut a cake to celebrate their new year, Navroze, in Ahmedabad on ...

People from Parsi community cut a cake to celebrate their new year, Navroze, in Ahmedabad on ...

Nail artist Murari Aditya, 75 years, shows his 38 inch long nails, at his residence in Kolkata ...

Nail artist Murari Aditya, 75 years, shows his 38 inch long nails, at his residence in Kolkata ...

The first batch of Dasara elephants being welcomed on their arrival at Mysuru Palace on Thursday.

The first batch of Dasara elephants being welcomed on their arrival at Mysuru Palace on Thursday.

: Participants struggle during a greased-pole climbing competition held as a part of independence...

: Participants struggle during a greased-pole climbing competition held as a part of independence...

Activist Irom Sharmila with her husband British citizen Desmond Coutinha after getting married...

Activist Irom Sharmila with her husband British citizen Desmond Coutinha after getting married...

A visitor looks at an art installation, symbolizing the partition of India and Pakistan...

A visitor looks at an art installation, symbolizing the partition of India and Pakistan...

Artist Sunil Paul gives finishing touches on a statue of St. Mother Teresa at his studio...

Artist Sunil Paul gives finishing touches on a statue of St. Mother Teresa at his studio...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.