Precious rhubarb: plot taken over and sold thanks to plants

A private investor planted rhubarb on land owned by the University of Technology in Kraków, southern Poland, and, thanks to that, took over 3.5 ha (8.65 acres) of valuable grounds in the central part of the city.

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The university received ownership of the land in 2005.

But in 2006, a private investor made use of a Polish legal clause allowing a person to request for the use of public and private land which has been left unused. He claimed that he and his family had been growing rhubarb on the land for years.

A court worked over the case for six years, interviewing employees of nearby Polish Aviation Museum who testified that they did not see any rhubarb on the land.

The court decided that the investor is the rightful owner of the ground. The university appealed, but the ruling was upheld. The investor was therefore handed 3.5 ha of land.

According to the Onet news website, he sold the ground to the Małopolskie Province office for around PLN 10 mln (EUR 2.32 mln).

“The fee was paid in one payment. The purchase was co-financed through an EU fund,” a spokesperson of the office said.

The ground has been earmarked for the construction of the Lesser Poland Science Centre.