Search for the world’s Second Largest unclaimed inheritance
A presentation of Anna Shevchenko’s political thriller BEQUEST took place at the Institute on February 24th. The book hinges on the legend of the lost Cossack gold, allegedly deposited in the Bank of England in the 18th century by Hetman Polubotok, who made a will allowing a future independent Ukraine to inherit the vast majority of the gold. Andriy Polobutko, a descendant of Hetman Polubotok, tries to claim the family inheritance, and instructs Kate, an English solicitor with Ukrainian ancestry, to help with the legal aspects of recovering the gold.
Fact and fiction are carefully entwined: the Cossack gold legend being founded in a real legend (and a 1990 attempt by a Ukrainian poet to assert the claim), and diary extracts and the experiences of academic repression by the authorities are taken from the author’s family history.