UK-France treasure hunt with £650,000 prize to be launched in April

PUBLISHED: 15:39 26 January 2021 | UPDATED: 16:00 26 January 2021

The Golden Treasure of the Entente Cordiale. Pic: Le Tresor de l'Entente Cordiale

The Golden Treasure of the Entente Cordiale. Pic: Le Tresor de l'Entente Cordiale

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The Golden Treasure of the Entente Cordiale armchair treasure hunt will see competitors race to find the key to a special golden casket by solving clues in a new book

A treasure hunt set in both the UK and France will be launched this April, with a prize worth £650,000 (€750,000) up for grabs.

The Golden Treasure of the Entente Cordiale (Le Trésor de l’Entente Cordiale) will see treasure seekers solve clues to find two halves of a key – one located somewhere in the UK, the other in France. When put together, the key will open the case containing a golden casket.

This ornament was given to French President Émile Loubet by Britain’s King Edward VII to seal the Entente Cordiale in 1904. The set of agreements marked the end of centuries of conflict between the two nations and it looks like this treasure hunt may require some more cross-Channel co-operation.

Up-close with the prize casket. Pic: Le Tresor de l'Entente CordialeUp-close with the prize casket. Pic: Le Tresor de l'Entente Cordiale

The clues to the key are concealed in two books – one in English, one in French, written by creator Michel Becker and his team. Becker is the artist behind the famous On the Trail of the Golden Owl (Sur la Trace de la Chouette d’Or) treasure hunt, released in 1993 with author Max Valentin. The prize of this long-running competition is an owl statuette sculpted by Becker and it is said to be worth around one million francs. There is still an avid group of puzzlers trying to crack the code, some 28 years later.

Becker purchased the ornate casket for the Golden Treasure of the Entente Cordiale at auction. It was made by the prestigious Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Company and its authenticity has been verified by them. Will the Golden Treasure of the Entente Cordiale prove to be as elusive as the Golden Owl?

The casket was a gift from King Edward VII of Britain. Pic: Getty/Photos.comThe casket was a gift from King Edward VII of Britain. Pic: Getty/Photos.com

The hunt will begin on 8 April 2021, which is the anniversary of the signing of the Entente Cordiale. Bonne chance!

To get involved, head to the Golden Treasure of the Entente Cordiale’s website.

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