On a pile on the ground near the house at the corner of Kamenita St. and Opatička St. in Zagreb. This was when the so-called Admiral Nelson’s chain was last seen; it used to be attached to the facade of a building at Kamenita St. for more than a hundred years. Until last summer, when the building underwent a reconstruction, reports Večernji List on February 5, 2019.
The chain was put there by Albert Nugent at the end of the 19th century, while his family owned the building. He did it after the death of his father, Count Laval Nugent, a passionate art collector who, as an Austrian army commander, came to Croatia and stayed here to live. Laval Nugent was also the founder of the first museum in Croatia, the Nugent Museum, at the Trsat fort near Rijeka.
It was Count Nugent who brought to Zagreb the chain which was allegedly part of HMS Victory. In 1805, the ship was commanded by Admiral Horatio Nelson during the famous Battle of Trafalgar in which Britain defeated Napoleon’s fleet. Nelson was killed on that ship, which today stands at the Portsmouth harbour as a naval museum.
The historically-important chain was removed during the reconstruction so that it would not be damaged. The head of the City Institute for Protection of Monuments, Stipe Tutiš, said that the chain would be returned about the works are done. The City Office for Spatial Planning manages the renovations works, but its head, Dinko Bilić, said that the chain has not yet been refurbished.
However, both offices remained silent when asked where the chain is presently stored. Reporters have checked the facilities where the chain could be located, but it has not been seen in the Zagreb City Museum or the Croatian History Museum. It is not at the Croatian Restoration Institute and not at the Archaeological Museum, which keeps some of the other objects bought from the heirs of Count Nugent which were brought there in more than 80 cases.
People living in surrounding buildings are afraid that Nelson’s chain will never return to its old position. “There are rumours that the chain has been stolen,” says Marko Majnarić, the manager of the Lav bar, located in a building on the corner of Kamenita St. and Opatička St.
Many people ask about the chain, including tourists, who always tour the Upper Town during their visits. “The chain is featured in tourist brochures, we hope someone will return it someday,” said a local.
Translated from Večernji List (reported by Petra Balija).
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