Tiny French village gripped by Indiana Jones fever
A tiny village in southwest France has been gripped by an Indiana Jones-like saga after three researchers said they had discovered a cave that they believe contains King Solomon's gold, and possibly the holy grail.
Police have been called in to patrol the area near the village of Sougraigne, which has a population of 82, in the Aude region over fears the claims will lead to an influx of treasure hunters.
The cave's location on a wooded hillside has been a long-kept secret and was only made public last week because of a dispute between the researchers.
Legend has it that untold treasures are hidden near Rennes-Le-Chateau, including the gold of the Visigoths, which is said to include the original menorah, the seven-branched gold candelabrum used by Moses in the wilderness.
Michel Vallet, Didier Hericart de Thury and Franck Daffos, believe the treasure lies in a cave on a tiny hill called Pech d'En-Couty.
Their search was suddenly brought to public attention after the publication of a book by two of the researchers, called 'The Gold of Rennes'.
Angry that he was left out, Mr Vallet posted a photograph on the internet last Sunday showing the cave's entrance where the three believe the treasure lies.
Locals were more circumspect yesterday. "We get nutters all the time," said Alexandre Painco, the mayor of Rennes-Le-Chateau. ( © Daily Telegraph, London)