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A lawyer for the former Italian royal family confirmed to CNN that they had sent a letter to the central bank in Rome. The crown jewels were deposited in the Bank of Italy by a representative of the family on June 5, 1946. This event happened three days after Italians voted in a referendum to remove the nation’s monarchy and become a republic.
The jewels were entrusted to the central bank to be kept at the disposal for “whoever has the right” to their ownership.
The former Italian royal family are now saying they have the right to the ownership of the jewels.
The case for the return of the crown jewels began to heat up on Tuesday when the grandson of former King Umberto II, Emanuele Filiberto of the House of Savoy, represented the family at a mediation session.
At the meeting, Mr Filiberto asked the central bank to return the crown jewels.
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Representatives of the Bank of Italy were in attendance at the meeting.
However, according to the family’s lawyer, Sergio Orlandi, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Economy and Finances were not present.
The Prime Minister’s Office sent a letter explaining that according to Provision XIII of the Italian constitution, which imposes the confiscation of the royal family’s assets, the crown jewels and all other properties of the ex-royal family belong to the state.
Provision XIII states that “transfers and the establishment of royal rights on said properties which took place after June 2, 1946 shall be null and void.”
The Prime Minister’s press office said the former royal family’s request was “unfounded, given that it concerns assets constituting the ‘endowment of the Crown of the Kingdom of Italy'”.
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The government press office added that the crown jewels were, “not personal assets of the House of Savoy.”
Shortly after the end of the Second World War Italy fell into a period of civil discontent.
This led to the institutional referendum on whether Italy would remain a monarchy or become a republic.
In the referendum Italians decided to abandon the monarchy.
As a result of the referendum, all the male members of the House of Savoy were exiled from Italy.
Italy then formed the Italian Republic, the present-day Italian state.
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