The Hope Diamond, one of the world’s most famous gems, is getting naked to celebrate 50 years at the Smithsonian. To honor the rare 45.52-carat blue diamond, the museum is designing three possible new settings for the stone, inviting the public to vote for their favorite by visiting:
The winning setting will be announced this fall, and the gem will be shown in its new digs starting in May to celebrate the premiere of a Smithsonian Channel documentary on the diamond.
In the meantime, The Hope will be hanging out in the buff – a first for the storied gem.
“This is a rare and exciting opportunity for people to see the Hope Diamond as it has never been seen before,” said museum director Cristian Samper.
Formed more that a billion years ago, the diamond was mined in India and is believed to have been part of the French crown jewels. It later came into the possession of Henry Philip Hope, whose name it carries.
The Hope Diamond was long thought to have a curse, bringing bad luck to its owners, but Smithsonian officials say it has been kind to them, drawing throngs of visitors.
Our mascara stains have barely dried from celebrating the Obama win (or lamenting the McCain loss, as the case may be) and the creators of South Park have already spoofed Election Night in episode 1212 of their hilarious series. No rest for the wicked, as they say.
The new entry is titled “About Last Night” – and the hook? Obama and McCain aren’t really presidential candidates – -they’re jewel thieves plotting to use a secret passageway under the Oval Office to steal the Hope Diamond from The Smithsonian – Ocean’s 11 style.
With McCain supporters hiding in a bunker fearing the end of the world, and the Obama base so drunk they tip over cop cars and fill up the emergency room, the jewel thieves take advantage of a distracted populace to pull off the greatest heist in history. And it’s not just the candidates who are in on the act. Just wait ‘til you see the real Sarah Palin.
The real Hope Diamond is a large, 45.52-carat fancy deep grayish-blue diamond, that is, in fact, housed in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. The diamond is legendary for the curse it supposedly puts on whoever possesses it. But for a cool $210 million, it’s clear even the ‘President’ is willing to take the risk.
Whatever your political persuasion, the episode takes pride in poking fun at all of us. And while it might be too soon to take a jab at such an historical event – – perhaps it’s not soon enough.
South Park airs on Comedy Central. Click here for a complete look at the series and last night’s classic episode.