News Release – August 2nd 2011
VANDALS STRIKE EMPRESS ICON
The iconic exhibit at the Crystal Caves in Atherton, the Empress of Uruguay, has been vandalised by a visitor. Owner Rene Boissevain is asking for the culprits to hand back the piece of the world’s largest amethyst geode which they broke off and made off with.
“If they hand it back to any tourist attraction or any accommodation house in the region, there will be no questions asked,” he said.
Initially too upset to speak when he was told of the incident, which occurred late on the morning of Monday August 1st, Rene has said; “I can’t believe anyone would do this. It’s like slashing the Mona Lisa, but worse, because The Empress is one of natures’ grand masterpieces!”
Local police have begun an investigation using video security footage taken by Crystal Caves which recorded the vandalism.
Management and staff at The Crystal Caves were very upset with this vandalism. Manager Jim Russell said: “For over three years now we’ve had The Empress on open display and we’ve encouraged tens of thousands of our guests to touch the beautiful crystals that she features, and everyone has respected the rarity and beauty of this very special exhibit – but now this.”
The value of this exhibit is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, but now with this damage, that value will be reduced.
Although shocked by this incident, given the fascination and enjoyment that this specimen gives to so many visitors, Crystal Caves will allow the display to remain open as normal.
“We are immediately upgrading security in The Empress Room by adding more high resolution video cameras, as well as other measures. We just can’t ever let this happen again”, said Jim Russell.
For more information contact;
René Boissevain, Owner; 4095 8559
Jim Russell, Manager; 4091 2365 or 0409 720 396
The first big-new-thing was the beautiful “Empress of Uruguay” a couple of years ago, then this year we opened the dazzling special “Magic Spheres” display, which has had rave reviews ever since.
Next is something just as special but totally different again.
The planning is all done, the design finalised and we’re only waiting for the three and a half tonnes of special rock to arrive from Brazil before construction starts!
This latest extension to The Caves will be something that we believe people will come from far and wide to see. Watch this space.
Just now in this first week in September 2010, René and Nelleke have left on a two month long tour of South America and Europe, which they have labelled as a “holiday”, but will almost certainly become a “buying trip” ! For over twenty years René has travelled the world buying crystals minerals and fossils from the far corners of all of the continents, as well as quite a few islands. This time, he will again be spending time in his beloved Brazil and Uruguay, and will undoubtedly arrange for shipments from those countries, and others. René’s trips usually result in the delivery of several pallets of beautiful things from these exotic places. Many of these finish up for sale in our ‘Fascinating Facets’ Gift Shop, and the really special things go straight into The Caves for everyone to enjoy.
We will post photos of René and Nelleke’s travels as they come through to us.
24.09. 2010 René and Nelleke’s travel stories:
To follow are some events that took place so far during our around the world trip..
Montevideo is a wonderful city and very safe and the food is outstanding and cheap.
After staying in a nice hotel, the Rent-a-car was presented the next morning and we left for at about 10 for Artigas, 600 Km close to the Brazilian border.
This time we aimed at a different direction from last time.(Camping around Uruguay in 12 days, about 6 years ago)
We had in mind to see the amazing creation of “Casa Puablo” in Punto del Eleste from a world known artist Carlos: Casapueblo – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Casapueblo is the house of noted Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró located in Punta Ballena (Whale Point) at 18.6 miles from Punta del Este, Uruguay
You MUST check this out!
I was very,very much impressed with all he’s done in a life time.
Nelleke and I spend hours wondering around and trying to imagine what has gone in a man’s mind!
Anyway we left the environment with a bundle of impressions,,,
I always wanted to be an artist,but after seeing/experiencing this event I feel very humbled.
But bear in mind that I will be famous when I’m 75…Watch me!
Anyway Nelleke and I continues driving to come close to the Brazilian border to branch off to- ward the center of Uruguay, to go North to Artigas.(Google)
The landscape was breath taking and of course we took many pictures.
The people are very,very friendly and try to help as much as possible to understand as much as we understand their Spanish against our English .
You must one day camp around Uruguay one day soon…No tourism,,,no camping places,,Just go. What we did 6 years ago is still freedom camping all over. You’ll love it!
Well, we’ve been in a place were there was no connection, so there are a few days in between.
Nelleke and I are going from one dealer to another checking out some spectacular pieces of amethyst!
They are all preparing for Tucson, for the big show in February.
We’ve bought some very good amethyst pieces for our carousel.
Nelleke stopped me from buying another stunning geode with stalactites.100% perfect.
This afternoon we are going to the mines. Nelleke has never been there.
I will send pictures separate. Maybe tomorrow when we are out of here direction Salto.
Salto is a much larger place and to connect to the internet is solid.
Cheers, for now,
Nelleke and Rene