“The alleged or genuine Faberge egg was found on one of the yachts seized as part of the sanctions imposed on Russia and its oligarchs,” said Lisa Monaco, US deputy attorney general. The precious relic was most likely located on a superyacht owned by the oligarch Suleiman Kerimov.
Let’s move on to interesting matters: yachts (…) we discovered some very interesting things (…) on one of these yachts; we retrieved a Faberge egg – or alleged Faberge egg – Monaco said on Wednesday, during the Aspen Security Forum conference session in the US state of Colorado devoted to the seizure and freezing of sanctioned Russian property.
The official did not mention the name of the vessel where the artwork was found but said it was found on a yacht that currently stands in San Diego Harbor, where it came from Fiji, reports The Guardian.
In early May, a court in Fiji agreed to the US government’s motion to confiscate the Amadea superyacht, which, according to the US administration, belongs to the Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, which is under Western sanctions. The vessel, worth more than USD 300 million, was carried by American services to the port of San Diego at the end of June.
If it turns out that the egg is an original relic, it will be one of the few surviving objects of this type, and its value can be estimated at millions of dollars, Monaco said.
Faberge eggs are rare and valuable works of goldsmith’s art, made in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by the St. Petersburg jeweller Peter Carl Faberge and commissioned by successive Russian tsars from the Romanov family. About 50 eggs were manufactured, not all of which have survived to modern times.
A special group established in March by the United States and its allies to seize the assets of Russian elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (REPO) announced on June 29 that it had seized 30 billion in the assets of Russian oligarchs and government representatives. At least five luxury yachts have also been detained, and exclusive properties owned by Russian billionaires under sanctions have been frozen.
Monaco told Aspen that it supported the idea of the seized property being forfeited, possibly to the Ukrainian state. She added that the US Congress had been asked to grant the administration the appropriate authority in this matter.