The French mountaineer who found a treasure trove of gemstones in Mont Blanc in 2013 received his discoverer’s fee eight years later. He received half a shipment of emeralds, sapphires and sapphires with a total value of about 300 thousand euros.
Chamonix Mayor Eric Fournier told AFP, on Saturday evening, that the other half is for Chamonix local authorities. He said he was “extremely happy” that it ended successfully, especially for the alpine climber. Fournier praised his “integrity” in reporting his discoveries to the police, as required by French law.
The alpine climber, who wishes to remain anonymous, climbed the Poisson glacier in Mont Blanc in 2013. During his trip he came across a metal box. It contained 49 bags that read “Made in India”. They all contain gems. He took them with him and reported it to the police in Albertville after his boarding.
The French authorities stated that they would do everything in their power to find the rightful owner of the treasure, but to no avail. French law states that the discovery must be divided between the discoverer and the owner of the area if the rightful owner is not found after two years. It is not clear why this is happening only now.
The treasure is linked to the 1966 Air India crash in Mont Blanc. French authorities believe the gem came from Flight 101, which was en route from Mumbai to London on January 24 with a layover in the other Geneva. Having passed the 4808-meter Mont Blanc, the pilot had to start descending to the Swiss city, but he did so before he assumed that he had already passed the highest mountain in Europe. The plane crashed over the Rocher de la Tournet (4750 meters). All 106 passengers and 11 crew members were killed. Among the victims was Homi Jahangir Bhabha, the pioneer of India’s nuclear programme.
Over the years, climbers have regularly found wreckage, luggage and human remains from the Boeing 707. In September 2012, India confiscated a diplomatic mail bag from the plane, which crashed on the southwest side of Mont Blanc on January 24, 1966.
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