The ancient crown of St. Stephen, a symbol of Hungarian nationhood, went on public display?
The ancient crown of St. Stephen, a symbol of Hungarian nationhood, went on public display in Budapest on Tuesday (31 January) more than 30 years after it was smuggled out of the country.
SYNOPSIS: The crown and other royal regalia went on display in Budapest's National Museum.
A crowd of about 500 people had queued waiting to get their first glimpse of the legendary coronation treasures.
The gold crown and regalia were officially handed back to Hungary by the United States Secretary of State Cyrus Vance early in January. Thirty-two years ago in the closing months of World War Two, it was smuggled out of Hungary to stop it falling into Soviet hands. American forces then took it to the USA.
While in America it was stored in a closely guarded vault in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was handed back as a goodwill gesture. The crown has been used in the coronation of every Hungarian King since the eleventh century.
The treasures are being shown in three thick glass cases.
The display is open to the public four days a week.
Official Hungarian sources say the crown will eventually be kept in Buda castle which overlooks the Danube River.