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The sale of the Crown Jewels
In order to break with the monarchical past, the parliamentarians of the Third Republic decided in 1887 to auction off the Crown Jewels. A national heritage, started by François I in 1530 and enriched over the centuries, was thus dispersed. In ten days, more than 77,000 precious stones, ornaments and pearls were sold. The rare preserved historical pieces were entrusted to the Louvre Museum, which exhibited them in the ‘Salle des Etats’ from 1889 onwards. As time went on, the museum reconstituted part of the collection by donation or purchase. Today, twenty-three pieces of jewellery are displayed in the Gallery of Apollo.
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