The Tiara of Saitapharnes

For the better part of a decade, the widely celebrated and esteemed Louvre Museum of Paris proudly displayed a supposedly ancient tiara made of solid gold. Experts at the Louvre identified it as belonging to the Scythian king Saitapharnes who ruled sometime in the 3rd century BCE. An inscription on the tiara mentioning that it was a gift from Olbia, a Greek colony on the Black Sea coast, to King Saitaphernes left no doubt about the item’s authenticity and great age. But later it became clear that the tiara's new owner had been a little haste in acquiring the item. The exhibit is now locked away in storage—an embarrassment, for the tiara was proved to be a hoax perpetuated by two Russian art dealers.

Tiara of Saitaferne

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A postcard ridiculing the Louvre’s dubious purchase. Photo: Wikimedia Commons


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