About the search for Alidakis' treasure
- 13 February, 2016
Fruitless so far are the efforts to find the treasure of Ibrahim Alidakis in Emprosneros, Apokoronas. The excavation work was interrupted Thursday as then ended the three-day legal concession for digging. However, according to information, stakeholders will submit a request for extension of the license to continue their investigations.
The permission for "finding the treasure" was given for the location Sochora, an area outside the village of Emprosneros in Apokoronas municipality, granted by the Acting Secretary General of the Decentralized Administration of Crete Giannis Anastasios, following an application submitted on 27 February, 2013 by 10 individuals.
Among them is the owner of the land, a villager and three foreigners (a German resident and two residents from Austria), claiming to have a leading role in the investigations.
Under the procedure, monitoring and supervision of the research and excavation works was established by a committee whose members include representatives of the Regional Directorate of Public Property of Crete, the Treasury of Antiquities and the Police.
The authorization explicitly states that "throughout the period of work the Commission will be on site and will supervise and monitor investigations."
And in case the treasure is found, it "will be described in detail and will be counted on the spot by the Commission and its members". "For this we prepared a report to be signed on the spot by the Commission and immediately the treasure will be submitted to the branch of the Bank of Greece in Chania. The transfer will be done by police escort, the Committee and the members. If antiquities are found, they will be delivered to the relevant Archaeological Service."
Stories and legends
The 90 years old Manolis Giannarakis, a native of Emprosneros, still remembers stories of the forefathers about the "ruthless" Alidakis: "In the era of Alidakis he was the most feared ruler of the province. I remember that my father -who had heard it from his grandfather- told us that Alidakis was the toughest bully, making everybody tremble."
"A song said he had 14 mitata [shepherd huts for making cheese], indicating his wealth. Certainly he would kill whomever captain who questioned his authority," says Mr. Giannarakis and highlights the numerous personal guards Alidakis had. "The whole province was afraid of him, but it seems that the good eye of the Turkish leaders did not see him because he had acquired great power. That was why they did not support him when he was attacked. Thus happened during the last attack on the Tower. They did not sent aid, he was besieged and killed along with his guard."
According to reports, during the attack on Alidakis many Sfakian warriors found a horrible death. However, Mr. Giannarakis notes that this is the half truth, as in the last battle against Alidakis apart from Sfakians many locals from Emprosneros participated. But the locals who fought were not registered for fear of reprisals. They had nowhere to go and it would be them who would pay for Alidakis' death," Mr. Giannarakis explains.
Mr. Giannarakis states that the old people spoke of a golden spinning wheel, and a golden hen with golden chicks, which Alidakis had created with his money. More believable however seems to be the version that states that he had hidden his money in a secret underground passage through which he was able to escape from the tower if he was in need.
"The legend says that there is a hatch that comes out in a nearby house, which from the tower leads to the location Keramos", said Chairman of the Local Community Sifis Giannarakis, and adds that in this passage the treasure of Alidakis is hidden. "They never found the gold of Alidakis. So somewhere it is. It is said that he had cut even his own currency," he said.
However, to date the underground tunnel or a hatch that leads to it has not been detected.
In each case, the entire Apokoronas is closely monitoring the surveys for the treasure of Alidakis while the work of the restoration of the tower is progressing to turn it into a monument.
"The legends and our history are the identity of all people. With the restoration of the tower of Alidakis, funded in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, the Antiquities and with funding of 300,000 euros from the Region of Crete, the real history of the region will emerge," the mayor Charalambos Koukianakis said.