Hungary’s Parliament will offer free tours for visitors on January 6 to mark the 40th anniversary of the return of the Holy Crown from the United States, parliament’s press office said.
Visitors will be guided around in the Main Hall to view the crown of Saint Stephen, the most important symbol of Hungarian statehood, exhibited together with the sceptre and the orb between 10am and 3pm, the office told MTI.
An exhibition entitled 1000 Years of Lawmaking in Hungary will also await visitors between 9am and 5pm, it said.
The crown of Saint Stephen (r. 1000-1038) and the other coronation regalia were taken abroad shortly before the end of WWII.
They were safeguarded at Fort Knox for several decades, then returned to Hungary under a decision by then-US President Jimmy Carter. The initiative provoked sharp debates both in Congress and among Hungarian emigres who saw the step as a recognition of the socialist regime.
The Hungarian government accepted the US conditions that the crown and the coronation regalia should be handed over in the absence of communist party leader János Kádár and displayed in public.
US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance presented the crown and the regalia to Speaker of Parliament Antal Apró at a ceremony in Parliament’s Main Hall on January 6 in 1978.
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