Historic group gets permission to lead Nazi treasure hunt in Gelderland village
A local historical society will be allowed to organize a search for a Nazi treasure rumored to be buried in the Gelderland village of Ommeren, which is part of the municipality of Buren. The municipality gave Historische Kring Kesteren permission for this on Tuesday, on the condition that the excavation work is carried out by a recognized archaeological agency, that a historian is involved in the search and that anything found is handed over to a facility that has yet to be designated.
Buren previously said it wanted nothing to do with people digging for the possible treasure.
In January, rumors began to circulate that Germans had buried looted treasure in Ommeren during World War II. Precious jewellery, gemstones, gold watches and coins are said to be hidden, which were captured from an Arnhem bank. A treasure map was found in the National Archives supposedly showing the location where the loot was buried.
Although it is forbidden to use a metal detector for searches in Buren, many treasure hunters still visited the Betuwe village. They were even found searching on private land.
Buren has always said that the treasure would have been found long ago if it were in the place identified on the map. The municipality regularly excavates that area for the construction of roads, and other projects. But the municipality wants to give the Historische Kring Kesteren one more chance.
"If proper research has been done and with cooperation from professional excavators, the municipality can be confident that this will provide an unequivocal answer to the question about the treasure," said a spokesperson. If the treasure is not found, it's over. "It's a nice ending to the story anyway," said the municipality.
Reporting by ANP