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[April 1st]
Dracula's Treasure, buried in Oana Ban countryside garden

Part of Dracula's famous Treasure was found last autumn in Oana Ban Grandmother's countryside garden, 20 miles (30 km) from Cluj.



During some maintenance work in their apple trees garden, when trying to remove a very old walnut tree, supposed to have like 450 years old, but being in danger to crash and destroy a large part of the garden, Oana's Grandpa have found some strange coins coming out from the trees roots (in the hole made by the removed three roots, was enough space to fit twelve biggest jeep cars).

Photo right: Oana Ban in the garden, last September


Specialists from Cluj History Museum were asked for help, and after few days of digging, the surprise came: twelve large coffins (500 lbs. each one) filled with pure Gold coins, Gold pots and many fine antic art objects. The estimated value is high not only because of the Gold and precious stones inserted, but the highest quality and uniques of the objects. Specialists and historians from the World largest museums have worked past months to make their evaluations on the Dracula's treasure. The final value: between 84 and 140 millions dollars (if they are to be sold at an auction, the price will be higher; the local prices are below from what foreign museums have had offered on spot).

According to Romanian laws, the treasure became the State property and must be given to the closest History Museum (and the National museum may choose what they need to display in their Bucharest exposition). But the owner of the land (Oana grandparents) will receive from the State like 75% from the estimated value, a big fortune for Romania.

Apart from the first 12 coffins, which were clearly marked as Dracula's (Vlad Tepes Prince, actually) property (having his logo on them), two more coffins were of different origin, being marked as "Voda Ban, the Prince Treasurer".

It looks like one of Oana Ban ancestors was the owner of the last two coffins, one of the Dracula's Prince trusted people.They have decided to put on a safe place the treasure, hoping for a safely return from one of the wars; something went wrong and nobody was able to return for the treasure. The secret remained hidden for centuries.

Her family own that land for centuries and they have heard rumors about the origin of their name ( "Ban" means coin in the Romanian language).

Photo: Oana Ban and her Grandma

Her family also silently spoke for years about a rich and famous grand-grand-grand father of Oana -they spoke quietly under former communist regime, when having a rich and capitalist-alike ancestor could bring you troubles, big troubles.
If these historians will decide (and seems they do) that those two coffins belongs to the Oana's family, this mean the whole content from them (a 14 millions dollars value) belongs to them.

Oana will come next week to New York for few days and she will appear at Jay Leno show and also being the special guest of the Getty Foundation-which have sponsored the diggings for the treasure and will almost likely receive (as a compensation) some objects to be displayed in a dedicated event during September.

"I will keep my studies going on, but now I may have some other plans, too"said Oana during a recorded TV interview last evening for a US channel, to be aired this weekend. "I was ready to buy a car for me, now I can buy for all the family members-my sister, my father and my Grandpa, of course" (the Treasure-land was her personal property).

More interesting, Oana may get confirmed her beloved "Banutz" title/surname. Since one of her ancestors was from a high officials around the Dracula Prince, this bring a nobiliary title, which now are- again-recognized and used in Romania and give to the owner the right to claim some of the former properties confiscated by the communist regime (land, buildings).

"It's a nice things to inherit such a small fortune, to have a Princess-alike Title it's a honor for me, but the Athens Gold medal with the team is my best achievement and the most beloved for me."says Banutz.

...Well, you have to check more often your PO box from now on, I'm sure even more guys will write to you, apart from those regular 40 a week with dating-alike questions.




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