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April 19, 2024
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The Issue of the Romanian Treasure in Moscow to Be Debated in the European Parliament

The European Parliament will hold a premiere debate on the Romanian Treasure in Moscow. The debate is scheduled to be held in March. The initiative belongs to Romanian MP Eugen Tomac, and most Romanian MPs back it.

At the end of the discussion, a resolution is to be issued, and the optimistic members of the European Parliament hope that the Russian authorities will be compelled to return the Romanian treasure or inform the European and Romanian parties about the fate of the treasure.

The Story of the Romanian Treasure in Moscow

The story of the Romanian Treasure in Moscow is a tangled tale of war, revolution, and a nation’s struggle to reclaim its heritage. During the tumultuous years of World War I, facing the threat of invasion, the Romanian government made a fateful decision. In 1916, to safeguard the nation’s gold reserves and a collection of priceless artifacts, they were shipped to Russia, then an ally, for safekeeping.

This act of trust proved tragically misplaced. The tide of war turned, and by 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution swept across Russia. The newly formed Soviet government, disregarding prior agreements, confiscated the Romanian treasure. The trove included an estimated 120 tonnes of gold and cultural artifacts of immense historical significance.

Photo: Visit Bucharest

Romania’s pleas for the treasure’s return fell on deaf ears. The Soviet Union, and later the Russian Federation, have never fully acknowledged the debt, offering only a portion of the cultural objects in the 1930s and 1950s. The gold, however, remains unaccounted for.

Some artifacts can be seen in the National Museum of History in Bucharest.

Photo: Visit Bucharest

How Much Value Has the Romanian Treasure in Moscow

The Romanian Treasure in Moscow comprised the National Bank of Romania treasury, including 93 tons of fine gold, values belonging to various private Romanian banks, commercial companies, private individuals, art collections, jewelry, archives, etc. Though it has never been estimated, it can be valued at over USD 10 billion today.

The episode continues to cast a shadow on Romanian-Russian relations. Historians grapple with the reasons behind the Soviet seizure. Was it a cynical land grab to bolster the fledgling communist regime’s coffers? Or perhaps a calculated move to sever ties with the former Tsarist government, which Romania had initially sided with?

The lack of transparency from Russia only deepens the mystery. The actual fate of the gold remains shrouded in speculation. Some believe it financed the revolution, while others posit it was melted down and anonymously sold on the international market.

The Romanian government has never abandoned its claim. Diplomatic efforts to recover the treasure have continued for over a century. In recent years, Romania has utilized international forums to highlight its case, now reaching the European Parliament.

The story of the Romanian Treasure transcends mere monetary value. It represents a nation’s cultural heritage, a tangible link to its past. The episode serves as a stark reminder of the enduring consequences of war and the complexities of international relations. As long as the treasure remains in Russia’s possession, the saga will continue to be a source of tension and a potent symbol of Romania’s struggle to reclaim its rightful property.

1 comment

Veronica March 5, 2024 at 11:56 am

So after they argue this, let’s argue about all the treasures the British empire and napoleon stole from all over the world. Of particular interest are the priceless treasures the British army stole when they sacked the Qing Emperor’s summer palace before they burned it down in 1860. Was that necearry? Really? . I mean look at the pot calling the kettle black here.

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