“Capital” issue 132, 5th June 2013 has an article on page 15 entitled “Jean Giraud et ses Précieuses Pierres”, which discusses the death of Jean Giraud (who founded Mauritian company United Basalt in July 1953) on May 14th 2013 at the age of 94:

Jean Giraud

The article continues:

Grand chasseur devant l’éternel, il est aussi chercheur de trésors à ses heures. Persuadé comme beaucoup de passionnés de la catégorie, il est persuade que des pirates ont enfoui des trésors dans les îles de sud-ouest de l’océan Indien. Il decide de s’intéresser à celui du fameux Oliver Le Vasseur, dir La Buse, qu’il croit enfoui quelque part à Saint-Antoine et à celui de Nageon de l’Estang, qui, just avant d’être pendu aux Seychelles, a jeté à la foule des curieux un prétendu plan de trésor. En compagnie de son frère Lucien, de Philippe de Rosnay et de Raymond Chevreau, il va ainsi se dépenser sans compter dans la recherche de ces précieux butins qu’il ne trouvera jamais.
Mais on dit des chercheurs de trésors qu’ils ne vivent que de l’espoir d’en trouver un et que c’est uniquement cette quête, souvent vaine, qui les fait vivre…

My free translation of the above – and native French speakers, please step forward to correct me, because I might easily have gone completely wrong here – is as follows:

Ever the eternal opportunity hunter in business, in his spare time he was also a treasure hunter. He was, as are so many others of that particular ilk, firmly convinced that pirate treasure lies buried in the southwestern islands of the Indian Ocean. For many years, his focus was on Nageon de l’Estang (whose booty he believed was buried somewhere in Saint-Antoine) and on the well-known pirate Olivier Levasseur (AKA “La Buse”) who, just before being hanged in the Seychelles, allegedly threw a treasure map into the crowd. Now reunited with his brother Lucien and fellow treasure hunters Philippe de Rosnay and Raymond Chevreau, Girard is free to spend forever searching lavishly for the precious spoils he will never find.
But it has been said that treasure hunters live only for the search and that it is by their quest, often in vain, that they live…

Of course, Cipher Mysteries readers will know that it was actually Olivier Levasseur who was hanged (and in Réunion rather than the Seychelles): but it was a surprise to me that Jean Giraud believed Bernardin Nageon de l’Estang buried his treasure in Saint-Antoine (in the North of Mauritius).

Regardless, if my translation is basically right and both Jean Giraud and his brother Lucien Giraud have now both passed away, it shows just how urgent it is to try to get to the bottom of this, before there’s nobody left to help tell the story.

Of course, the question some will doubtless be asking now is: who inherited the brothers’ collections of Nageoniana? From various fragments online, it seems that Jean Giraud left at least a son (Michel Giraud) and a grand-daughter (Marine – is she the famous Mauritian tennis player born 23rd April 1986 in Riviere Noire?): but that’s as much as I can reliably be sure about.

For what it’s worth, I found no obituary or note in Le Mauricien for either brother, nor any mention in ancestry.com: but perhaps other people’s searches for the same basic BDM data will prove both luckier and more productive than mine.

4 thoughts on “Jean Giraud, Lucien Giraud, and Bernardin Nageon de l’Estang…

  1. Rasmus Persson on September 26, 2016 at 6:42 am said:

    I am not a native French speaker, but when I read that French text, I understood that he believed it was the treasure, not La Buse, that was buried in Saint-Antoine.

  2. Google translates the text very well, in my opinion:
    Great hunter before the Lord, he is also a researcher of treasures at times. Convinced as many fans of the class, he is convinced that pirates buried treasure in the southwestern islands of the Indian Ocean. He decided to focus on one of the famous Oliver Le Vasseur, aka La Buse, he believed buried somewhere in St. Antoine and that of Nageon of Estang, who, just before being hanged in Seychelles threw to the crowd of curious alleged treasure map. With his brother Lucien, Philippe de Rosnay and Raymond Chevreau, it will thus spend lavishly in search of these precious spoils he will never find.
    But they say treasure hunters that live only in the hope of finding one and that it is only this quest, often in vain, by which they live …

  3. Hello,
    I’m a native French speaker and I can say that the original article is terribly written ! Yes, I agree with Rasmus. The sentence : “Il décide de s’intéresser…” is misformed. We need understand : “The treasure, not La Buse, is buried in Saint-Antoine” but the end of the sentence is more misformed because by a bad game of ponctuation one might think that this is BN that has thrown the map.

    Nick, the sentence “a jeté à la foule des curieux un prétendu plan de trésor” does not means fake map of treasure but alleged map of treasure.
    Note : My English is lower to your french.

  4. Rasmus and Christophe: thank you very much for your comments, I have amended my translation accordingly. While reading it, I found it hard to believe that the original author could have tangled his sentence up so badly that he apparently reversed the two pirates’ names, but… I see now that this is exactly what he did.

    Ruby: Google Translate arguably did a better job of translating it than the guy did of writing it. But I was trying to do a better job than both of them put together. 😉

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