Press Esc to close
Tuesday 07 July 2015
News updated at 4:25 PM IST
Weather
Max: 30.7°C
Min : 20.6°C
In Bengaluru
Generally cloudy

Indian gems found in Alps may be given to French climber

London, Sep 27, 2013 (PTI):
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
'Umbrella Workshop' where people paint umbrellas with colors in Navi Mumbai...

'Umbrella Workshop' where people paint umbrellas with colors in Navi Mumbai...

Visitors looking the BSF weapons on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the BSF...

Visitors looking the BSF weapons on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the BSF...

Mobile app ' Namma Bellad' launched in Bengaluru...

Mobile app ' Namma Bellad' launched in Bengaluru...

Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti feeds cows during her visit to Gir Seva Goshala in Ahmedabad...

Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti feeds cows during her visit to Gir Seva Goshala in Ahmedabad...

An highly decorated Vruksha hall during the 'BJP Maha Samparka Abhiyan 2015'...

An highly decorated Vruksha hall during the 'BJP Maha Samparka Abhiyan 2015'...

A fire broke out at Sony manufacturing plant in Navi Mumbai on Sunday...

A fire broke out at Sony manufacturing plant in Navi Mumbai on Sunday...

Pilgrims crosses the mountains as they move towards Amarnath Holy Cave Shrine...

Pilgrims crosses the mountains as they move towards Amarnath Holy Cave Shrine...

A Kashmiri Muslim woman offers noon prayers in the ruins of an ancient Hindu temple...

A Kashmiri Muslim woman offers noon prayers in the ruins of an ancient Hindu temple...

A security man keeps vigil on the mountains near Amarnath Holy Cave Shrine 3880 meters high...

A security man keeps vigil on the mountains near Amarnath Holy Cave Shrine 3880 meters high...

An Indian boy practices Mallakhamb, a traditional Indian gymnastic sport...

An Indian boy practices Mallakhamb, a traditional Indian gymnastic sport...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523