Germany returns 33 smuggled artefacts to Greece
Eight crates containing 33 archaeological artefacts and 600 coins, including some ancient masterpieces dating to the 12th and 13th centuries BC, arrived at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens from Munich on Friday.
|The finds were linked with the antiquities smuggling ring which was “dismantled” last October in Patras |
The remarkable finds, most in very good condition, included amphorae, bird-shaped vases, a ceramic statue of a chariot driver and two riders and other small objects, most of which were possibly grave goods taken from the northwestern Peloponnese.
“Today, this is a special, touching and very important moment. What you feel from the expressions of the archaeologists and curators, the joy on their face every time the very important finds are unveiled one by one,” said Koniordou. Their return from Munich, where they were taken illegally, was “truly touching,” the minister added, noting that it was a huge success for Greek and German law enforcement agencies, which had cooperated seamlessly in a joint effort to which the Greek general consul in Munich had also contributed greatly.
|The artefacts were transferred to the conservation workshop of the National Archaeological Museum |
“It is a non-negotiable principle of the Greek state to combat illegal antiquities smuggling and protect cultural heritage by any means. It is our desire that these illegally acquired ancient treasures should return to the areas from which they were stolen. We are already discussing how specific antiquities will be presented at the best time and in the best way to the public,” Koniordou said.
The finds linked to an international ring of illegal antiquities traders dismantled in Patras last October have been transferred to museum conservation workshops, while a committee has been set up to assess their authenticity and value.
Author: Kerry Kolasa-Sikiaridi | Source: Greek Reporter [April 02, 2017]