Raid in Bavaria
Fabergé eggs confiscated from oligarch?
Investigators apparently came across a spectacular find during the raid on the Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanow in his house in Bavaria. It is said to be some of the legendary Fabergé eggs, of which the late Queen also owned several.
This is the Fabergé egg called the Gorbachev Peace Egg.
He is super rich, super networked and is considered a Putin friend: Alisher Usmanow (69). The Russian oligarch faces charges of tax evasion and money laundering. Last Monday there was a raid on his villas on Tegernsee near Munich (D).
The investigators came across a curious find, reports the “Spiegel”. Apparently, the investigators found “rare jewelry” in a safe in the billionaire’s basement. According to the German news magazine, it could be four so-called Fabergé eggs. Their authenticity is now being checked by the authorities.
Valuable Russian showpieces
Fabergé eggs are about the size of an ostrich egg, have a sophisticated design and are sometimes set with diamonds, pearls and gold. Their value: up to a low double-digit million amount. It was the Russian goldsmith Peter Carl Fabergé who presented the tsarina with his first made Fabergé egg on Easter morning 1885.
The Russian Easter custom of the Tsars of the time came to an end with the October Revolution of 1917. Some of the valuable Easter eggs disappeared, others were sold abroad and thus found their way onto the jewelery market.
In 2007, for example, a one-off production, the so-called Rothschild egg, came under the hammer at the London auction house Christie’s for around 12 million francs. Ten more are in the Kremlin, six eggs are considered lost, according to the “Spiegel”.
The 48 eggs, whose whereabouts are known, are now in various collections around the world. Ten of them belong to the collection of Fabergé lover and Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg (65). In addition, Vekselberg also has shares in Swiss companies such as Sulzer, Oerlikon and Züblin.
Luxury egg fan Vekselberg
Vekselberg’s enthusiasm for the valuable eggs is so great that he runs The Link of Times Foundation, which is responsible for the private Fabergé Museum in Saint Petersburg and has made it its mission to repatriate such historical Russian rarities home .
Fabergé collections are also owned by the British Crown. Three Fabergé Eggs belong to the estate of the late Queen Elizabeth II and are part of the Royal Collection. Including the Colonnade Egg and the Mosaic Egg.
The Fabergé eggs, which were probably seized from Usmanow in Bavaria, are now in the hands of the police. Usmanov is on the EU sanctions list. Where he is staying is unknown. Usmanov’s spokesman emphasized to the “Spiegel” that the entrepreneur was a law-abiding and careful taxpayer. He is also one of the world’s most generous philanthropists. (euros)