Balthazar Martinot watch destroyed by coup plotters at the Planalto Palace. Photo: reproduction

Originally published in “RBA”

The Brazilian government may have found a solution to recover the 17th century clock that was destroyed in the Planalto Palace, during the coup acts on January 8th. According to the Minister of Culture, Margareth Menezes, the Swiss Embassy offered to mediate the repair of the piece, made by the famous French watchmaker Balthazar Martinot.The offer was made by ambassador Pietro Lazzeri, according to the minister. “He offered a watch recovery action, because he has a company of restorers with experience in this type of renovation, which is centuries old. It will be, according to them, an honor and a manifestation in favor of democracy”, he added, during breakfast with journalists.

The minister recalled that the destroyed watch has many peculiarities, such as the use of tortoise shell for its manufacture, which makes the procedure even more difficult. Margareth Menezes said that the only compensation requested by the Swiss company is that there be an exchange between Brazilian and Swiss professionals.

The watch, a gift given by the French court to Dom João VI, was brought to Brazil in 1808. Of the various pieces produced, only two copies have withstood time. The other is kept at the Palace of Versailles in Paris.

The destruction of the piece was caught on video, inside the Planalto Palace, during the coup demonstrations. The person responsible for the act of vandalism has already been identified. This is Antônio Cláudio Alves Ferreira, who was later arrested in Minas Gerais.

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