''Moon rock' given to Holland by Armstrong, Aldrin just 'petrified wood'

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London, Aug 29 (ANI): A piece of rock from the moon which Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin had gifted to Holland is claimed to be fake.

Curators at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum say that the "lunar rock", valued at 308,000 pounds, is in fact just a petrified wood.

"It's a good story, with some questions that are still unanswered. We can laugh about it," the Telegraph quoted Xandra van Gelder, who oversaw the investigation as saying.

In fact, researchers at Amsterdam's Free University knew it wasn't moon rock at the first look. They say that their speculation was later confirmed by tests.

Frank Beunk, a geologist involved in the investigation: "It's a nondescript, pretty-much-worthless stone."

Now, the United States Embassy in The Hague is carrying out an investigation into the affair.

Armstrong, Michael Collins and Aldrin had given the rock to Willem Drees, a former Dutch leader, during a global tour after their landing in moon almost 50 years ago.

It is one of the moon rocks given to more than 100 countries following lunar missions in 1969 and the 1970s.

Former American ambassador to the Netherlands J. William Middendorf had presented it to Drees, which was donated to the Rijksmuseum after his death in 1988.

Middendorf said: "I do remember that Drees was very interested in the little piece of stone. But that it's not real, I don't know anything about that." (ANI)

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