‘Treasure trove’ of lost artefacts found in Swiss monastery

After years of searching, the missing historical artefacts were found in Sarnen, canton Obwalden, Switzerland. Keystone / Urs Flueeler

Some 2,000 archeological objects, some dating back to the Stone Age, have been uncovered during a spring clean of a monastery attic in central Switzerland.

This content was published on November 4, 2022 minutes

The artefacts are part of a large collection assembled by Benedictine monk, Father Emmanuel Scherer (1876-1929), which were declared missing during an inventory in 1987.

The missing items eventually turned up in some drawers in a Benedictine monastery in Sarnen, canton Obwalden, as it was being prepared for refurbishment.

The objects, from Switzerland, France, Italy, Greece and the United States, include French arrowheads dating back 40,000 years, a Stone Age axe, antlers and an oil lamp.

The find has been declared an historical “treasure trove” by the archeological department of nearby Lucerne, which will sort through and itemize the artefacts in the coming months.

Since 1907, Swiss law states that historical artefacts must be returned to the canton in which they were discovered.

An exhibition is planned for 2024 to allow the public to view the now-reunited Father Scherer archeological collection.

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