Buenos Aires Times

argentina CONTROVERSY

Argentine ex solider to recover helmet that saved his life during Malvinas War

A British collector was trying to auction the item on the popular online market place Ebay for £10,500.

Sunday 3 March, 2019
The helmet that saved Argentine soldier Jorge Altieri's life.
The helmet that saved Argentine soldier Jorge Altieri's life. Foto:Ebay

A former soldier in Argentina's 1982 war against the United Kingdom over the sovereignty of the Malvinas Island says he received an anonymous call on Friday promising that the helmet that saved his life in combat would be returned to him shortly from the UK.

Former soldier Jorge Alberto Altieri's helmet was at the heart of a fierce battle on social media last month, when a British collector tried to auction the item on the popular online market place Ebay for £10,500. The helmet reportedly saved Altieri's life during the Battle of Monte Longdon, which occurred on June 11 and 12, 1982.

"I've been promised that the helmet will return to me. Once that happens, and once I've expressed my gratitude and shown it to everyone who helped me get it back, I will take it to the grave of parents in Lanús", 56-year-old Altieri said.

"Someone with an Argentine accent but who did not identity themselves" called Altieri on Friday to tell him the helmet would return to Argentina in the next "shipment made by the Argentine Embassy in London".

Following the war, Altieri sold plastic bags near the Planetarium in Buenos Aires, unable to find work as a result of the disability he suffered during the War. The soldier lost lost his eye at Monte Longdon, 37 years ago.

He said a friend of his "had spoken to the Argentine Ambassador in London to determine if it (the promise to return the helmet) was a bad joke".

AUCTION

The helmet was posted on Ebay by British collector Bruce Wilson.

He told the news portal Infobae that he "had received intimidating messages, threats and insults" that led him to decide to take down the post.

Wilson bought the helmet on Ebay as a sole bidder several years ago, he said. His research led him to the conclusion that the item was worth far more than what he paid for it.

-TIMES/PERFIL

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