UFA, May 25. /TASS/. A 4,788-kilogramme gold nugget named Irendyk Bear will be exhibited under 24-hour police guard in the National Museum of Bashkortostan, a Russian territory in the Urals region, as leaders from a host of countries gather for two international summits at Ufa, the capital.
It will be on display for two days, on July 9 and 10, when Ufa brings together delegates to the intergovernmental Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the BRICS group of developing nations Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Museum deputy director Venera Allaguvatova told TASS the nugget was a national treasure of Russia and Bashkortostan. Two officers will guard the unique item round the clock within the armour-plated walls of a hall housing the exhibition of Sarmatian gold.
The Sarmats were nomadic Iranian-speaking herder tribes living in steppe areas stretching from the Urals mountains to the watershed of the Tisza and Danube rivers during the last centuries of the Early Iron Age between the sixth and fourth centuries BC.
"There are special conditions for displaying such a valuable exhibit - a specially equipped showcase, an armed guard and a powerful alarm," said Allaguvatova, adding that since the nugget's transfer from the National Bank of Bashkortostan to the museum in 2011, it had been open to public view only two or three times.
The nugget's shape resembles a bear and was found in 1992 near the village of Kuseevo on the eastern branch of the Irendyk mountains.
Legend has it that in 1557, locals presented it as a gift to Tsar Ivan the Terrible as a sign of respect. But on its way to Moscow, the conveying convoy was attacked by robbers - guards travelling with it managing to hide the nugget in the earth to remain there for more than 400 years.
The exhibition comprises 279 items.