Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Zita trying to recover Habsburg jewels

April 19, 1926

Former Empress Zita of Austria is taking legal action to "ascertain the whereabouts" of the Habsburg Crown jewels, which are said to be worth at least $1,125,000, according to the New York Times.   A French judicial commission will carrying out Zita's request.

The jewels were pawned with "Geneva jewelers by Baron von Steiner," former Chamberlain of the Emperor Karl, "for an "insignificant sum in order to raise funds" for Karl's unsuccessful attempt to regain the Hungarian throne.

Baron von Steiner was arrested in Paris and extradited to Berne, where he was charged with fraud.  He was acquitted of the charges.   The jewels could be hidden in Switzerland or France, but officials in these countries do not know for sure.  The Italian government has been unable to trace a "famous Florentine diamond" that was a part of the Habsburg collection.

Archduke Friedrich, who lives in Basle, is helping the former Empress to "regain possession of the jewels and obtain a new trial of the case in Geneva."

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