Greeks pin hopes to ‘treasures’
In a time when Greece is going through a deep sovereign crisis and the European economy is entering a recession, some Greeks have placed all their hopes in rumors that “there are important works of art and treasures that have remained from the Ottoman Empire” buried in Greek land.
Legends of buried treasures, also widespread in Turkey and people’s fantasies of finding them and becoming rich, which have existed since ancient times, have become a top item in some Greeks’ agenda. The number of treasure hunters has increased considerably in the past year in Greece, where unemployment has reached 20 percent due to the country’s lingering sovereign debt concerns.
The Greek state has given 50 treasure search licenses in the past two months, and 3,000 metal detectors have been sold in the last 12 months.
Greek legends on treasures intensified significantly regarding the Ottoman Empire period. According to reports in Greek newspapers, a construction worker has recently discovered a gold treasure worth 2 million euros in the Mora peninsula’s Patras city. This has increased hopes among Greeks for the possibility of finding other treasures by tracking locations mentioned in related popular legends.
The person who finds the treasure has the right to keep half of it, whereas the remaining half goes to the state.
One of the main locations from legends that mention treasures remaining from the Ottoman Empire era include the Sikurio district in the Greek city of Larissa, where efforts to find the so-called “second fountain treasure” are still going on. According to the city’s elders, the treasure remaining from the Ottomans is so large that if found, Sikurio could become as wealthy as Switzerland. (via Hurriyet Daily News)