Monday 28 November 2011
Digging for treasure in the Nan'an Temple Pagoda from the Liao Dynasty
The Nan'an Temple Pagoda was built by China's northern nomads in the Liao Dynasty some 10 centuries ago. For more than a thousand years, the underground palace had been undisturbed.
But Wang Zhendong was an unexpected visitor. It took him and others nine months to dig a ten-meter tunnel to the buried treasure. But it took much less time for him to go to jail.
The tower is located in a residential area, and it was one of those residents, Zhang Hu, who called the police. The hole was in his house, with more than 500 bags of earth piled around.
Xie Yan, police officer, said, "There are tools and bags of earth at the scene. The hole goes directly into the palace, nearly no deviation. It is very professional."
The hole is 1.3 meters in width, big enough for a man to crawl into. It went down three meters before crossing the street underground, directly linking to the palace. However, in 9 months of digging, no one had any suspition of illegal activity.
A local resident said, "Nothing unusual ever found. Nothing. Even the dog never barked."
By keeping the earth inside the house, the robbery remain unnoticed. According to Wang Zhendong confession, two groups of robbers participated in the course of nine months, investing a total of 4,600 US dollars.
Wang Zhendong, crime suspect, said, "I heard they were digging, but nothing had been found. But I kept on and wanted to try my luck."
In the end, however, luck was not on his side. Zhang Hu was afraid someone would discover the four tons of earth in his house, so he called the police. Otherwise, there's no telling when the robbery would have been discovered.
Zhang Hu, crime suspect, said, "They gave me 4,600 dollars to keep quiet. But how could I deal with the dirt? So I called the police."
Unfortunately, Zhang's phone call still came too late for the relics that were damaged.
Source: CCTV News Channel