A hand-drawn map marked with a red “X” believed to be where the Nazis hid precious gems looted from a bank vault has sparked a modern treasure hunt in a small Dutch village more than 75 years later.
Using metal detectors, shovels and copies of the map on cell phones, the prospectors headed to the town of Ommeren, with a population of 715, located 80 kilometers southeast of Amsterdam, in an attempt to extract a possible treasure trove from World War II based on the drawing published for the first time on January 3, reports Al-Rai daily.
“Yes, of course it is great news, which has stunned the whole village,” said Marco Roedfeldt, a local resident. Not only our village, but also people who are not from here.”
He added, “All individuals come to dig casually in the places where they think the treasure is buried, using a metal detector.”
It was not immediately clear whether the authorities could claim the treasure if it was found, or whether the prospector would be able to keep it. So far, no one has reported finding anything.
The treasure hunt began this year when, as it does every year in January, the Dutch National Archives published thousands of documents for historians to study.