Today I will take you on a museum trip again. We will go to the History Museum in Bucharest, to visit the treasure room to see a beautiful gold pieces. While we walk, I will tell you the story of the treasure.
The origin of this treasure seems to be Gothic and dates somewhere around the IV century BC, in the time of the Goth king Athanaric. At that time, was a Huns invasion, so most probably, the treasure was buried, so the Huns couldn’t have it. In support of this theory comes an inscription from one of the pieces of the treasure.
The legends say that every treasure is cursed and that you have to make a pact with the devil to get it, giving the devil someone you love. Usually, where is a treasure buried there in some particular nights, a fire will burn to indicate that there lays a treasure. In this case, it wasn’t quite like in legends, but the treasure did bring some misfortune for some who got involved.
From Pietroasa, Buzau, this treasure was discovered by chance by two peasants picking up stones from the hill of Istria in 1837. Here you can see a bit the area where the treasure was found. I hope the link works:)
When they found it, the treasure was composed of 22-24 pieces weighing more than 40 kg of gold and full of precious stones. Now the treasure has just 12 pieces and weighs half of it.
At first, the two Peasants thought that the treasure wasn’t made from gold, so they wanted to melt it and use it for tools. They took some parts of it to a gypsy to melt it, but the gypsy told them it was too soft for tools. The peasants that were the father in law and son in law kept the treasure hidden in their attic for some time. After a year, they tried to sell their treasure to an entrepreneur named Verussi. The peasants wanted a pair of oxen in exchange for the treasure. Verussi bought the treasure from them. Because the treasure was so big, Verussi cut a plate from the treasure that weighed 8 kg of gold in 4 pieces. He tried to sell the treasure with a lot of money.
Verussi was blackmailed by a landholder, on his name Gheorghe Frunza Verde. He demanded half of the treasure, Verussi gave him a part of it, but he was displeased by the amount he got, so he went to the Bishop of Buzau and told the authorities about the treasure. An investigation started, and the two peasants, Verussi and also Baciu ( a guy who hid in his house the treasure), were arrested. The investigation was conducted by the Minister of internal matters. At first, the investigation was moving in a good direction. Still, at some point, the investigation was pointing at some high persons, so at that point, the investigation started to become slower. Verussi bribed those who had the power to escape innocent and keep some parts of the treasury. Unfortunately, the two peasants were not so lucky. They didn’t have the money or know who to bribe, so they died in prison. The same fate also shared the guy who helped hide the treasury, Baciu. For them, the treasure was a real curse.
The Minister of the internal affair started to have a passion for this treasure, so he tried to keep it for himself, but he had to open his safe in 1842 and give the treasure to the museum to be exhibited.
The treasure will travel and be exhibited in the big museums of Paris and London, admired by many people as it was at that time the biggest treasure from ancient times discovered. It will remain the biggest treasure until the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen.
The treasure will return home, but the curse of the treasure won’t stop. In 1875, on a stormy winter night, a guy named Grigore Pantazescu stole the treasure. This guy loved the circus and also had extraordinary abilities, circus kind of. Unfortunately, he will be busted a short time after the stealing. He will be sent for 6 years to jail, but he will die in mysterious conditions shortly before being out of jail.
In 1917 the treasure will be sent to Moscow with all the Romanian treasures. It will stay there until 1956, when it will return home same as other art treasures that were sent there for safe keeping.
In 1971, the History Museum in Bucharest will exhibit it. Today the treasure is still displayed in the museum.
Now the treasure of Pietroasa was named by those who have discover it the “Hen with Chicks” because of a bird-shaped fibulae currently have 12 tracks, with a total weight of 19.820 kg of gold. Its component parts of the treasure are:
-a large brooch in the shape of an eagle, bearing the great chest cabochon oval, symmetrical cross bordered by four small round Cabochons;
-a small fibula;
-two brooches medium;
-a tray; a cup-oenoche; a patera;
-two baskets polygonal;
-a belt with an inscription;
-a simple necklace;
-a belt hinge.
I hope you enjoyed it!