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Medieval crown jewels on display at Prague castle

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The Czech crown jewels went on show at Prague castle Friday, in a rare public display for the 700-year-old items that are pulled out only on special occasions.

The medieval works of art consist of a gold crown decorated with 96 precious stones including rubies and sapphires, along with a sceptre, royal orb and other precious objects.

"The value of the crown jewels is incalculable. That's why it's impossible to insure them," said David Sebek, spokesman for the president's office.

The 2,358-gramme (83-ounce) crown was first worn by Charles IV of Luxembourg, king of Bohemia and Holy Roman emperor, for his Prague coronation in 1347.

The public has only viewed the collection 11 times since the start of the 20th century, with the last exhibition held five years ago.

The 10-day showing marks the 20th anniversary of Czech independence, the 95th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia and the recent election of President Milos Zeman.

The castle is also the seat of the presidency.

The crown jewels were taken Thursday from a special room in St. Vitus Cathedral that is equipped with seven locks and an intricate electronic security system.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/tourism/130511/medieval-crown-jewels-display-at-prague-castle