You've seen National Treasure, the fictional movie that says the Freemasons collected vast treasures to protect them for the people of the world.
There's a real-life version of National Treasure playing out in London, with side stories from China, Italy and Hungary. Even Croatia and Lebanon get bit parts in this power play. Only in this story, the Freemason is looking out not for the people of the world, but apparently for himself.
And at the center of the story is the Marquess of Northampton, Spencer "Spenny" Douglas David Compton. The Marquess is said to be the world's richest Buddhist. He is now married to his fifth wife, having sired semi-royal children with three of his wives.
And he is the Pro-Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England. The Pro-Grand Master deputizes for the Grand Master, who is currently Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, the Queen's cousin.
The Marquess collects treasure — in this case the 2500-year-old Sevso Hoard. It comprises 14 or more items of silver and represents probably the most important collection of Roman silver ever found. It's also stolen property, and no musuem in the world will touch it. Until now.
The Hoard was originally discovered in 1978 by Jozsef Sumegh, a 22-year-old Hungarian, who hit a copper vessel containing the silver pieces with his shovel while doing excavation. Sumegh sold a few pieces on the black market, and soon found himself dead, swinging from a rope in an unused wine cellar. Two of his close friends were murdered, too.
Hungary, Lebanon and Croatia have all sued unsuccessfully for return of their "national treasure."
Through unnamed sources, the Marquess eventually paid nearly £14 million for the silver pieces. Saying he got bad legal advice over buying the silver — it's both priceless and worthless, as no one will buy it — he sued his lawyers, and received a £24 million out of court settlement.
That's one shrewd Buddhist Freemason. What is the sound of one hand counting money?
Read it here.
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