Thursday, August 5, 2021

Royal treasures removed from Tatoi

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 Many items were removed last night from Tatoi, the former royal summer home.  The removal of art and other treasures was deemed to be precautionary as the fire in Varybobi did not reach Tatoi.

The transfer was undertaken by  Greece's Civil Protection department in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

Special care was taken for the "preventive transfer and removal' of the valuable items.

Unfortunately, the fire was unable to be contained and has reached Tatoi.   One news report states: "The fire is very big, it is constantly spreading, it is moving northwest. and has reached the royal estate of Tatoi."   The fire brigade reports that the fire is "very close to the containers that were placed to store the palace objects."

In the 1880s, the Danish-born King George I of the Hellenes bought the estate with private funds.  A fire destroyed the house in 1916.  After King Constantine I and his family went into exile in 1917, Tatoi fell into disrepair and was not returned to the King -- George II - until 1936.

King George II was in exile during the Second World War.  He regained Tatoi after he returned to Greece in 1946.  Following his death, the estate passed to his brother, King Paul, who died in 1964.  Paul's only son, King Constantine II, who left Greece in 1967 after a failed coup, remained the owner of the property until 1994 when Andreas Papapandreou's government confiscated it.

In 2003, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the former king had remained the owner of the property, but could not force the Greek government to return it.  But they were able to require the government to pay Constantine a paltry 12 million Euros, as he received only 12 percent of the Tatoi's value.   Constantine used the money to seed the Anna-Maria Foundation, which assists Greeks who have suffered losses during natural disasters.

It was not until 2019 that the Ministry of Culture finally announced plans for Tatoi's reservation including using the house as a museum of the Greek Royal Family. 

Twenty members of the Greek Royal Family are buried in the Mausoleum and cemetery adjacent to the house.

Greek TV has reported that Prince Nikolaos, Constantine's second son, who lives in Athens with his wife, Tatiana, was at Tatoi earlier today

1 comment:

BlueSaphire70 said...

That is so incredibly sad! I do hope that they manage to save the documents and historical artifacts housed there.