Just like a scene from Indiana Jones, a Greek Australian treasure hunter has begun a search in the mountains of central Greece for the treasure of a notorious 19th century Ottoman pasha.
The loot is valued in the millions, and can hold the key to plug the country’s vast debts, state TV says. Vangelis Dimas is financing the excavation to locate the hoard of Ali Pasha near the village of Vassiliki, 352km northwest of Athens.
“The sensors show me that there is great treasure hidden below,” Dimas told TV channel NET as a crew manned a heavy drill on a small hill a few metres from the local road.
The state-approved operation is proceeding slowly and would likely extend into next week. “So far we have drilled to a depth of 23 metres but the rock is very tough,” he said.
“If at 30 metres we have a breakthrough, it will mean that there is an underground chamber below.”
A drill has been brought from Athens for the purpose and cameras will be inserted to help locate the chamber believed to hold the treasure.
Ali Pasha was an Albanian-born leader who ruled the area for the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century, shortly before the Greek revolution that ended the country’s four-century Turkish occupation.
Prior attempts to locate the treasure near his stronghold in the northwestern city of Ioannina have been fruitless. The Greek state is entitled to 50 per cent of the finds and the municipality will also be given a percentage. Source:Kathimerini