Royal jewels without a crown

Stories of the world

The heirs of the saboya demand from Italy the pieces of the royal family

Anna Buj


The Italian state will face a real demand.Particularly, that of the children of the last king of Italy, Humberto II of Savoy, who demand from the government the jewels of the royal family guarded in an armored chamber of the Bank of Italy for 76 years.The loot in question is a fortnight of pieces, earrings, headbands, necklaces and brooches, which together add up to 6.732 diamonds and 2.000 pearls of different measures.They could have a value of up to 300 million euros.

The jewels of the then Italian royal family are in a small black leather case inside a safe in the Bank of Italy since June 5, 1946, three days after the referendum that abolished the monarchy.Then Humberto II, who reigned for only 33 days after the abdication of his father Víctor Manuel III - which led him to be known as the king of May - delivered the jewels to the lawyer Falcone Lucifero, minister of the Royal House, who to hisonce he took them to the then governor of the Banking of Italy, Luigi Einaudi.Until then they were stored in the Palacio del Quirinal, the former residence of Popes and Kings, which these days wait for their new tenant while the Italian parliamentarians decide the successor of Sergio Mattarella.

The booty is guarded in a safe of the Bank of Italy since the monarchy was abolished in 1946

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It was Prime Minister Alcide de Gasperi who claimed the pieces to Humberto II, considering, based on the Albertino Statute, the fundamental law of the Savoyan monarchy that was replaced in 1948 by the current Constitution, that the jewels were given in "endowment"To the kings for the fulfillment of their functions, but not as personal property.But the report that attests to the delivery of the jewels was argued that they must be preserved and “maintained available to those who are entitled to it”, something that, for the heirs to the non -existent throne of Italy, gives them the right to claim them.

"They were never confiscated, more than 75 years have passed and above all, they are exclusive property of the Savoy Family and the heirs of King Humberto, and it is time to be returned," says his lawyer, Sergio Orlandi.

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"We have not claimed them until now because the heirs had never agreed and perhaps the times between the Saboya and Italy house were not very mature," Manuel Filiberto explains to the avant -garde, who says he would like to organize a traveling exhibition with thesepieces.“They are private property jewels, given at weddings or bought.They have nothing to do with the jewels of the State and the normal thing would be to return them to the family ”, defends.

Manuel Filiberto has never seen the jewels personally, only through reports and photographs.The only time the safe opened was in 1976, when they were cataloged at the fear that they could have stolen.It was the Bulgari jewelry house in charge of assessing them and then valued them in about 2.000 million liras, about 18 million euros today, although some Italian media say they could have a value of up to 300 million."Above all they have a sentimental and historical value," says Manuel Filiberto. ".There are diamonds, so many pearls...But the most important thing is that I would like my daughter to have as a souvenir a small necklace of her great -great grandmother ".

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