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Fabergé egg found inside Russian oligarch’s superyacht



Since the start of the war in Ukraine in February this year, a task force made up of the US Department of Justice and other world bodies has been wreaking havoc on the Russian oligarchy. Mostly superyachts of these tycoons are captured in international waters. And inside these boats, curious items are found.

According to Deputy US Attorney General Lisa Monaco, one such treasure was a Fabergé egg, or at least an object that could be one of them. The yacht was heading from Fiji to San Diego, USA, when it was intercepted.

In a forum dedicated to discussing the role of law enforcement in freezing and seizing Russian assets, Monaco recounted the case. “We’ve found some really interesting things. We recovered a Fabergé – or supposed Fabergé egg – in one of these [iates]. So it gets more and more interesting.”

The US and allies seized billions of dollars in Russian assets. Monaco did not specify which yacht she was referring to. She said only that the boat was in San Diego Bay after leaving Fiji last month. The description matches a $300 million yacht named Amadea.

According to the deputy attorney general, if the Fabergé egg is deemed authentic, it could be worth millions. And it’s true. These objects began to be manufactured in 1885, for Tsar Alexander III of Russia to give as a gift to his wife, Maria.

Peter Carl Fabergé, the artist, created only 56 of them for the imperial family. But not everyone has resisted until today. One of them was auctioned in 2002 for US$ 9.6 million (today, something around R$ 52 million). Special editions are still produced today. In 2021, for example, Fabergé made one based on the series Game of Thrones, which sold for R$12 million.

Monaco stated at the forum that the idea supported by the US Department of Justice is to confiscate and sell the seized assets. And the profit should go to Ukraine. But it takes a decision from Congress to do that.

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