A collection of ancient gold, silver and bronze artifacts has become the focus of a rare public dispute between the self-declared Nagorno Karabakh Republic and its patron, Armenia, which is appraising the treasure trove. By right, de facto Karabakh officials say, the items belong to Karabakh. But, so far, the History Museum of Armenia shows no sign of giving them back.
Villager Andranik Kiureghian, a resident of Sonasar village in the disputed region of Lachin, stumbled across the treasure last year while grazing his cattle in a field. The items -- 700 grams of silver jewelry, a candlestick and eating utensil; 200 grams of gold earrings, rings, and a neck collar; and roughly five kilograms of bronze jewelry and household paraphernalia – were lying in a hole connected to a subterranean tomb thought to date back to the 4th – 1st centuries BC.
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Gayane Abrahamyan is a reporter for ArmeniaNow.com in Yerevan. Gohar Abrahamyan also contributed reporting to this story. Both Gayane Abrahamyan and Gohar Abrahamyan are daughters of a former director of the History Museum of Armenia.