Napoleon's Moscow Kremlin letter auctioned for $195,000
December 3 , 2012
A 200-year-old letter written by Napoleon Bonaparte in which he pledged to blow up the Kremlin was sold at auction for $195,000 on Sunday.
The letter was bought by the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts in Paris.
Written in code and sold with a deciphered transcript, the 1812 letter fetched more than ten times the original estimate in Fontainebleau, France.
It was written by Napoleon to Foreign Minister Hugues-Bernard Maret, who was at Vilnius in what is today known as Lithuania.
The first line reads: "On the 22nd at 3am I will be blowing up the Kremlin."
Napoleon kept his promise and destroyed the Kremlin's walls and towers before retreating, signaling the start of his decline in power that would result in his abdication and exile two years later.