Around 2,000 people vie to prove German city doesn’t exist

An aerial picture taken on November 6, 2018 shows roads and trees with autumn colours in Bielefeld. (AFP)

Around 2,000 people are vying to win one million euros ($1.1 million) offered by a German city to anyone who can deliver solid proof it doesn’t exist.

Officials in Bielefeld announced the competition last month, saying that there are “no limits to creativity” but only incontrovertible evidence will be rewarded.

The idea that the western city doesn’t exist was first floated by computer expert Achim Held, who posted the satirical claim online in 1994 to poke fun at internet conspiracy theories.

Still, the “Bielefeld conspiracy” has become enduringly popular, prompting even Chancellor Angela Merkel once to jokingly cast doubt on Bielefeld’s existence.

The city’s marketing agency said Thursday it received more than 2,000 emails by Wednesday night’s deadline, around 300 from abroad. It will announce a result on September 17.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:00 - GMT 07:00