Most collectibles are unique or one-of-a-kind in one way or another - be it their rarity or condition. Which is why, when allegedly stolen collectibles re-emerge on the markets, it's only a matter of time before accusers jump on them...
Recent cases include that of Pierre Le Guennec, the French electrician with a vast stash of 'long lost' Picassos in his house and a questionable story to back it up. And now another incident has emerged in the rare coins and medals markets.
A coin dealer in Manhattan claims that a "rare Peter the Great Medal", bearing the likeness of the leader who turned Russian into a continental power, was stolen from him in 2002. He claims it has reappeared at an auction run by another dealer.
Dmitry Markov Coins and Medals has sued Dimitri Shtaerrman and DSE Collectibles in a New York County Court. They demand the medal or $75,000. According to Markov, a dealer in ancient and medieval coins with an extensive collection, the medal was stolen from him on August 8, 2002.
Markov reportedly learned of the medal's reappearance on December 15, 2008. DSE apparently refused when he demanded it back off them, resulting in the court case.
What's more, this isn't the first time that controversy has surrounded a Peter the Great medal. Last year, the US to Russia returned a Peter the Great Medal to the Hermitage in St Petersburg, according to the Courthouse News Service.
The piece had once belonged to Russia's last tsar and was believed to have been one of around 200 items stolen from the Hermitage which turned up missing in 2006.
The Dmitry Markov Coins and Medals Vs Dimitri Shtaerrman and DSE Collectibles case is unresolved at the time of writing.
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