School children out walking on a class tour through a forest along Norway’s southern coast last week found what turned out to be a real treasure chest, packed with 100-kroner bills from the 1960s. Police are now trying to trace the origins of all the cash, worth NOK 1.3 million when adjusted for inflation.
Around a thousand of the large bills featuring a drawing of national hero Henrik Wergeland were neatly stacked inside two metal boxes, which in turn were placed in the wooden box found not far from a popular hiking trail in Kvinesdal. Speculation is swirling that the money stems from a bank robbery or simply from someone who didn’t trust banks or wanted to hide cash from tax authorities.
The children and officials at Feda School turned over the money to police, who told state broadcaster NRK that they’ve since received several tips. “Some mention a bank robbery, others a postal robbery or a burglary at a home at the time,” local police chief Asbjørn Skåland in Flekkefjord and Kvinesdal told NRK. “We’re looking into it all now.”
“Everyone dreams about going on a treasure hunt and finding a treasure,” Torbjørn Johnsen, principal at Feda School, told NRK. “Now it really happened.” It remained unclear what will happen to the money, which has long been out of circulation and could be sold to collectors or simply returned to the central bank and destroyed. Asked whether the children will get a finders’ fee, Jan Magne Olsen of the police said that’s entirely possible. “I hope so,” he told NRK.