Kim Willsher “Joan of Arc ring stays in France after appeal to Queen” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/26/joan-of-arc-ring-stays-in-france-after-appeal-to-queen
今年の２月、倫敦のオークションで、仏蘭西のPuy du Fouという歴史テーマ・パーク*1がジャンヌ・ダルク*2の指輪と伝えられている、15世紀の金鍍金が施された銀の指輪を30万ポンドで落札した。指輪はドーヴァーを渡り、テーマ・パークに展示されている。しかし、英国における美術品や文物の輸出を監視するイングランド美術委員会*3は輸出に必要な書類の不備を理由に、仏蘭西への輸出を認めず、Puy du Fou側に指輪の英国への返還を要求している。勿論、Puy du Fou側は認めず、その旨の手紙をエリザベス女王に書いている。
Puy du FouのNicolas de Villiers社長の言葉；
“The request made us laugh,” he told the Guardian. “We wrote to the Queen asking her if she could help sort things out quickly. Clearly Buckingham Palace spoke in the right person’s ear because we then heard we could keep the ring.”
De Villiers added: “It’s a symbol, a relic, that has been held prisoner in England for 600 years. It’s a small ring which does not appear of much value, but it has extraordinary symbolic significance for the French and we had to get it back.
“It’s a strong symbol of an extraordinary period in our history and reminds us of this great woman who overcame such obstacles to get people to listen to her and lead our our country to victory.
“We hope this symbol of hope and victory will help the French rediscover the pride and confidence that they have lost today.”
The medieval hoop is decorated with three crosses and the letters IHS and MAR for Jesus and Mary, and was allegedly taken from the French heroine’s prison cell before she was burned at the stake for heresy in Rouen, northern France, in 1431 aged 19.
On 17 March, 1431 under interrogation by an English ecclesiastical court, Jeanne d’Arc, the teenage peasant girl turned warrior, when asked about the visions she claimed had urged her to lead the French army to push the English out of her country refused to answer, infuriating her captors. Questioned about the ring, she told her captors it was a gift from her parents and she would look at it fondly before going into battle against the English invaders out of respect and fondness for them.
The auctioneers’ details from the sale earlier this year*4, suggested it had been enlarged at some point “from a band suitable for a small, feminine finger … the degree of wear generally evident to the ring, including to the hoop insert, suggesting an extended period of wear, long after the date of making.”
It stated the ring had passed from Cardinal Henry Beaufort, who died in 1447, who was present at the trial and execution of Joan of Arc in 1431. She is believed to have given him the ring on the eve of her execution, though there is no official documentation of its provenance. From Beaufort it went to the Duke of Portland’s family, to painter Augustus John. It was sold by Sotheby’s at auction at 1947, ending up as the “property of an Essex gentleman”.
*1:http://www.puydufou.com/ See also Angelique Chrisafis “It’s showtime! France’s best-kept theme park secret: Puy du Fou” https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/may/06/puy-du-fou-theme-park-vendee-france