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Treasure Hunter Revealed, Looted Nazi Art and more Unearthed Secrets for December


A roundup of Secrets in the News for December 2020.

The New York Times: The man who found a hidden treasure chest said to be worth about $2 million last summer in the Rocky Mountains — one that had tantalized fortune seekers for a decade, led to at least two deaths and spawned lawsuits against the art dealer who stashed it there — was identified on Monday as a medical student from Michigan. The student, Jack Stuef, 32, discovered the stash of gold nuggets, gemstones and pre-Columbian artifacts on June 6 in Wyoming, the grandson of the now-deceased antiquities dealer Forrest Fenn…[read more]


Looted Nazi Art Again Before Supreme Court

If you like this, you might like: Bombing Auschwitz 

NPR: Jed Leiber remembers playing chess with his grandfather when he was a boy, and learning about all that Saemy Rosenberg had left behind when he fled Germany in the 1930s. “I made a promise to myself that one day I would find everything that was taken from him and have it returned,” Leiber says. So Leiber was listening intently on Monday when the justices dealt with his grandfather’s famous art collection and its coerced sale to the Nazis…[read more]


‘Rebuilding Notre-Dame is my reason for living. I must give her back to the world’

If you like this, you might like: Building Notre Dame 

Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, rector of Notre-Dame Cathedral, believes the cathedral is the embodiment of the Virgin Mary. “Our Lady is suffering,” he says. “She is in pain. She saw 35,000 people a day, 14 million visitors a year. Now there is no one.” I think of Notre-Dame more as a faithful companion, perhaps a St Bernard sheepdog, or the Great Sphinx of Giza, hunkered down on her island. Haunches to the east where day breaks, face turned towards the setting sun, she surveys the river and our futile agitation…[read more]


Researchers Excavating Norwegian Viking Ship Burial Find Remnants of Elite Society

If you like this, you might like: Viking Warrior Queen

Smithsonian Magazine: This summer, Norwegian archaeologists embarked on an ambitious, tricky venture last attempted in the country more than 100 years ago: the full excavation of a Viking ship burial. In May, Norway’s government dedicated roughly $1.5 million USD toward excavating the Gjellestad ship—a time-sensitive project, as the vessel’s wooden structure is threatened by severe fungal attacks. After archaeologists set up shop in a large tent on a farm in southeastern Norway…[read more]


What Was the Titanic’s Captain Doing While the Ship Sank?

If you like this, you might like: Abandoning the Titanic 

History: No one knows exactly where Captain E.J. Smith was at 11:40 p.m. on Sunday, April 14, 1912. But witnesses said he appeared on the bridge of the Titanic just moments later, asking what the storied ship, making its maiden voyage across the Atlantic, had struck. “An iceberg, sir,” First Officer William Murdoch replied. So began the worst night of Edward John Smith’s otherwise charmed life…[read more]



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