NAPOLEON Bonaparte’s lost gold is hidden in a Russian lake and treasure hunters have spent 200 years looking in the wrong place, a historian
NAPOLEON Bonaparte’s lost gold is hidden in a Russian lake and treasure hunters have spent 200 years looking in the wrong place, a historian has claimed.
Legend has it that the French Emperor ordered 80 tonnes of stolen gold to be secretly buried as his troops retreated from Moscow in 1812 – but where is it now?
Russian historian Viacheslav Ryzhkov believes the supposed burial in Lake Semlevo in Smolensk could just have been a decoy to distract Alexander I’s forces.
Instead, he believes that the treasure might have been buried 40 miles away in Lake Bolshaya Rutavech, near his home town of Rudnya.
Ryzhkov told the Rabochy Put newspaper he believes rumours were spread by Napoleon’s men to hide the actual location of the treasure close to the Belorussian border.
And he reckons they were crafty about it.
“Napoleon did not throw the jewels in barrels into the lake, it would be too easy,” he told the paper.
“He ordered to hide them, buried at the bottom of the lake under the “water castle”.
The historian also claims Napoleon had some of the treasure melted into ingots before it was packed off on 400 wagons accompanied by 500 cavalry and 250 members of Napoleon’s elite Old Guard.
According to Ryzhkov, Napoleon’s double “who looked very similar to the real emperor” took on a number of assignments – including the allegedly fake gold burial.
Meanwhile the “real” Napoleon departed further to Smolensk “where he worked, issued brief decrees and orders, pigeon-mailing them to Paris, and waited for his retreating army”.
It will remain to be seen whether the historic treasure will be discovered in the right lake.
Ryzhkov believes the treasure could be dug out with the help of “preliminary drilling”, but the operation would require advanced technology and specialists.
He claims that a chemical analysis of the water in the 1980s showed a high concentration of silver ions.
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The story of the treasure can be traced back to the Russian Campaign in 1912, when Napoleon and his 450,000 strong army crossed the Neman River in a bid to defeat Alexander I.
They were said to have looted gold and jewels from Moscow as they beat a hasty retreat.
Over the past two centuries historians have been scouring around Lake Semlevo, but no gold has ever been uncovered.
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