- A mountaineer stumbled upon a treasure trove of jewels on a glacier off France’s Mont Blanc in 2013.
- The precious gems are believed to have belonged to a passenger who died in a plane crash.
- Local authorities in Chamonix have agreed, after eight years, to share the jewels with the man who discovered them.
A mountain climber who discovered a metal box filled with precious gems, buried for decades on a glacier off France’s Mont Blanc, has been rewarded a share of the treasure trove eight years after he found it, according to France 24.
The mountaineer discovered the collection of emeralds, rubies, and sapphires in 2013 after seeing something poking out of the snow and ice, near the French-Swiss border, per The Guardian.
He found a box, with “Made in India” inscribed on it, containing around 100 stones, the media outlet said. It is believed to have belonged to a passenger killed in one of two Air India flights that crashed in 1950 and 1966 near Mont Blanc, The Guardian reported in 2013.
The man carried the treasure to a local police station, according to reports, but had to wait years to find out if he would be rewarded for his honesty.
On Saturday, Chamonix’s mayor Eric Fournier told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the mountaineer had shown “integrity,” and announced that “the stones have been shared this week.”
The treasure trove has been split into two equal lots, France 24 reported. Both the man and local authorities will receive a set of gems to the value of 150,000 euros ($169,000), the media outlet said.
Fournier told AFP that he was “very happy” that a decision had been reached.
In 2017, a man found human remains in Chamonix believed to have been from passengers on one of the Air India flights.