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Suspense mounts over fabled Nazi gold train
Colonel Artur Talik, commander of an army unit, answers to journalists during a press conference on September 28, 2015 in Walbrzych where a rumoured World War II 'gold train' is searched. The area where the Nazi train is supposed to be hidden is now fenced and guarded and soldiers are preparing for searching as treasure-hunters claimed to have located two more Nazi built railway tunnels in southwestern Poland. AFP PHOTO / PIOTR HAWALEJ.


WARSAW (AFP).- The mystery surrounding a fabled Nazi gold train allegedly buried in southwestern Poland intensified Friday after a week of tests by an army unit including a bomb squad appeared to have produced no clues.

The army was tight-lipped, saying only that after completing the tests it had handed over a "safe parcel of land" to Walbrzych municipal authorities.

"The army's job is done as we're not in the business of treasure hunting," Poland's Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said, quoted by the Polish PAP news agency.

Both military and municipal authorities refused to divulge whether they had found any hard evidence suggesting the train is more than just a treasure hunter's fantasy.

"We haven't yet decided what to do next," Walbrzych municipal spokesman Arkadiusz Grudzien told AFP. 

City hall would consult the interior ministry about its future steps, he added.

Siemoniak said he expected Walbrzych mayor Roman Szelemej to contact Culture Minister Malgorata Omilanowska to plan his next move. 

"It's also a matter of finding funding as it's quite a costly business if you excavate," Siemoniak said.

Last month, two men claimed to have used ground-penetrating radar to discover an armoured Nazi train buried at the end of World War II.

Suggestions that it could be stuffed with jewels and gold stolen by the Nazis have made headlines around the globe.

Piotr Koper, a Pole, and German national Andreas Richter announced last month they had discovered a 98-metre-long (320-foot-long) train carriage buried eight to nine metres underground.

They believe the contents are mostly weapon prototypes, though according to local legend they could also include artwork and Nazi documents. 

Deputy Culture Minister Piotr Zuchowski said last month he was "more than 99 percent sure" the train exists because of ground-penetrating radar images he had seen.

But officials have since cast doubt on its existence, saying there was no credible evidence of it. They have not, however, given up on seeking to verify the claim.

Rumours of two Nazi trains that disappeared in the spring of 1945 have been circulating for years and the fresh claims have seen an influx of treasure hunters to the site. 

Their curiosity is also fuelled by a massive network of secret underground tunnels near Walbrzych -- including around the massive Ksiaz Castle -- that Nazi Germany built and where legend has it the Third Reich stashed looted valuables. 


© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse





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