''Gold rush'' as artist buries gold bars on British beach

LONDON - Thirty gold bars have been buried on a beach in Britain by a German artist, prompting a flood of bounty hunters with metal detectors to seek their fortune on Friday.

The gold bars, worth a total of 10,000 pounds (13,000 euros, $17,000), were buried in Folkestone, southern England, by Berlin-based Michael Sailstorfer as part of an arts festival. Members of the public will be allowed to keep any of the 24-carat bullion which they find. "There are 30 gold bars buried there, along with a lot of washers, so if you bring your metal detector you will find a lot of washers before you find any gold. We will never know if the gold has been found or not," festival curator Lewis Biggs told the BBC.

One treasure hunter, John Coker, told the Guardian newspaper: "It is the first art in the world where I've hopped in a car and drove to see it straight away, so that's something." The bars, worth around 300 pounds each, are a few centimetres long.

The Folkestone Triennial's website said the German artist behind the project was interested in 'the disruption of the everyday.' "Sailstorfer is intent on expanding the notion of classical sculpture and Folkestone Digs is a continuation of his aim to make art that comes less from the head and more from the stomach," it said.


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