Prague, Czech Republic – The Turnov museum in northern Czech Republic will start exhibiting an exact replica of French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s coronation crown from Thursday, the Czech News Agency (CTK) reported.
Created by renowned Czech jeweler Jiri Urban in collaboration with Eva Mrakotova Viskova on request of a private collector, the 23-cm-high and 19-cm-wide copy of the crown will be showcased in the museum’s jewelry store until February 6.
Jiri Urban worked for about a year and a half on the replica, which he says is one of the hardest works he’s ever undertaken. He mainly used photographs of the original, as well as copies that have already been made, to create the new replica.
The famed Czech jeweler had already created replicas of the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, as well as a copy of the St. Wenceslas Crown for Charles Habsburg, the grandson of the last Austrian Emperor and former king of Bohemia Charles I.
Natural materials were used to imitate the 40 ancient stone engravings adorning Napoleon’s imperial crown.
The original is on display in the Louvre museum in Paris.
Napoleon Bonaparte commissioned the crown, a free imitation of Charlemagne’s crown that was destroyed during the French Revolution, for his coronation as French emperor held in the Notre-Dame Cathedral on December 2, 1804.
In the unconventional ceremony famously depicted by Jacques-Louis David in his painting Le Sacre de Napoleon, the French emperor first placed a golden laurel wreath – a reference to Roman emperors – on his head, before briefly wearing the crown himself and crowning Empress Josephine.
Most of the French Crown Jewels were sold by the French National Assembly in the 1880s, but Napoleon’s coronation crown was one of the few that was kept.