Two US citizens were arrested at Athens International Airport on Monday after fragments of antique vessels and other ancient items were found in their luggage.
The couple from Oklahoma, both aged 64, arrived in Greece with their 32-year-old son and were about to board a plane to Istanbul to continue their vacation.
🏺⚱✋ Συνελήφθησαν 2 αλλοδαποί κατηγορούμενοι για παράβαση του Νόμου περί προστασίας των Αρχαιολοδαποί κατηγορούμενοι για παράβαση του Νόμου περί προστασίας των Αρχαιοτήτων & τν
▪Εντοπίστηκαν στον Διεθνή Αερολιμένα Αθηνών όταν αποπειράθηκαν να ταξιδέψουν με πτήση εξωτερικού
👉 https://t.co/7y21bbceYi pic.twitter.com/CbcaJKyQ9Y
– Ελληνική Αστυνομία (@hellenicpolice) September 21, 2021
During a routine X-ray inspection of baggage, officers found 65 fragments of ancient vessels and objects packed in 14 plastic bags in a man’s suitcase and eight more fragments in two bags in his wife’s bag.
The man, a Protestant pastor, confessed that he collected items from the Acropolis in Athens, Heptapyrgion (Edi Kule) in Thessaloniki, Delphi, the Temple of Apollo, the Roman agora in Thessaloniki, the Areopagus in Athens and the Byzantine towers in Berea.
He also told the police that he teaches Greek history and wants the fragments to be shown to his disciples and his flock in church.
The artifacts are believed to date back to the Roman-Byzantine period, according to an archaeologist from the Antiquities Euphrates of Eastern Attica, who examined them, adding that they fall under the Antiquities Protection Act.
Two US citizens were brought before a prosecutor in Athens to face charges of illegal trade in antiques.
In light of the above, I would like to remind you of the story of a tourist from Russia who picked up a pebble on the Acropolis. A vigilant security guard noticed this “theft” and a check was awaited at the exit of the tourists. The discovered stones (despite the fact that trucks of rubble were transported there every year) were declared a historical relic and the tourist was arrested. After long ordeals, a girl with a wallet that had lost a lot of weight thanks to lawyers was nevertheless released, although something shone for her within 7 years.
In 2015, an Athens court sentenced one Russian citizen damaged the “wall of the Acropolis”, to 30 days in prison with a suspended sentence. As it turned out, the young man decided to show the heroic strength on the territory of the Acropolis.
At the same time, one stone fell out of the modern wall, which was declared part of the wall of the Acropolis. (See photo).
PS In the Kerameikos area, near the Athenian Acropolis, there are millions of pieces of pottery similar (which is in the photo of the police), but do not even risk taking them in your hands.
It is fraught. The Greek authorities are very tough to suppress this. To this day, too many real antiquities are “leaving” Greece with the help of black archaeologists and antiquities smugglers.