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 eight years after he found it, France 24 reported.
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, The Guardian reported.
He found a box with “Made in India” inscribed on it that contained about 100 stones, the media outlet said. It’s 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, reports said, but had to wait years to find out if he would be rewarded for his honesty.
On Saturday, Eric Fournier, Chamonix’s mayor, told the Agence France-Presse that the mountaineer had shown “integrity,” and he announced that “the stones have been shared this week.”
The treasure has been split into two equal lots, France 24 reported. Both the man and local authorities are set to 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.