Moscow - The media frenzy caused by the recent start of a search operation for a Nazi “gold train” believed to be entombed in Poland has pumped up the tourism industry in the small city of Walbryzch at the centre of the expedition, Arkadiusz Grudzien, head of the press office and assistant to the city's mayor told Sputnik.
Walbrzych became a site of global interest following the decision by German and Polish explorers to dig in the area for what many believe could be Nazi Germany's train full of gold, treasures and, possibly, objects of cultural heritage.
Earlier in the day, Andrzej Gaik, spokesperson for the search group, said that the search operation would take ten more days.
“The number of tourists to the city grew by 40 percent in comparison with the same period of the last year [January-August]. Of course, generally the tourist industry is using the 'train'. This impacts not only the city but its surroundings and small cities of the region as well. The situation has helped us to become recognisable in the world, this is really amazing,” Grudzien said.
The mayor's assistant also noted that it is hoped that there will ultimately be a discovery despite some sceptical statements by Polish scientists who scanned the underground area and concluded the German-built underground tunnels in the region are empty.
“I cross my fingers that the members of the search team find something there. If not, the legend will continue, the train goes on, you know. This legend will stay with our town for years to come. In my opinion, the gold train already arrived in the city,” Grudzien said.
In 2015, a group of geologists and engineers from Poland's AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, spent a month searching the area with magnetic field detectors, thermal imaging cameras and radars.
In the final year of World War II, a150-meter-long German train disappeared on its way from the then East Germany city of Breslau (now called Wroclaw and part of Poland) to Walbrzych.
Some believe the carriage, carrying guns, industrial equipment, gems, gold pieces and other valuable treasure, was hidden away and sealed inside one of the clandestine tunnels near Ksiaz Castle, just outside of Walbrzych.
No documents have ever proven this theory.