The city of Naoussa in Northern Greece will host the first European Meeting of treasure-hunting dilettantes. "We are thousands and we do it as a hobby because it is incredibly thrilling" says Greek businessman Theofilos Hadjioannides, co-host of the event. The Greek treasure hunters focus mostly in Northern and Central Greece, searching for gold left behind by conquerors of the 18th and 19th century.
The search is almost always unsuccessful, but lately, the amateur hunters have been heartened by the story of Paul Coleman, who last year traced one of the largest hauls of Anglo Saxon silver coins in British history (5,251) after forty years of searching. Balkan legends offer equal doses of mystery and adrenaline, the most exciting one being the treasures of Ali Pasha (1740–1822), an Ottoman ruler whose court was in Ioannina, Epirus, who governed territories of Epirus, the western parts of Thessaly and Macedonia in Northern Greece. A Greek-Australian treasure hunter, Vangelis Dimas, has been financing an excavation to locate the hoard of Ali Pasha since 2010. The meeting will take place on May 30-31.