Thessaloniki: 35-year-old man bought an apartment with… a treasure

Two marble heads, perfectly preserved fragments of female statues from the Roman period, were found in an apartment in the center of Thessaloniki, which was recently purchased by a 35-year-old man.

The aforementioned objects, carefully hidden by the previous owner, were found in the attic, as well as a number of relevant documents, which, according to the expert archaeologist of Thessaloniki Ephorate of Antiquities (Εφορεία Αρχαιοτήτων), are subject to protection provisions (Law 3028/2002 “On the protection of cultural heritage in general”) .

The preliminary investigation is being conducted by the Department of Cultural Heritage and Antiquities, together with the police department of Thessaloniki, the newspaper writes.

A criminal case has been initiated on this fact, which, as the prosecutor’s office informally says, may be connected with other serious crimes – illegal excavations, storage and trade in antiquities.

Greece is one of the richest countries in archaeological finds. Throughout its history, many ancient monuments were taken out of Greece – for example, the famous Parthenon frieze from the Athenian Acropolis was taken to London by the British envoy Lord Elgin at the beginning of the 19th century. The Parthenon Marbles are now in the British Museum.

According to modern Greek law, any antiquities found on the territory of the country belong to the state. The law provides for lengthy prison terms for misappropriation and possession of antiquities.

So a 17-year-old tourist was detained on the Acropolis, who picked up a stone near the Parthenon and tried to take it out of the museum. She was threatened with a prison term of up to ten years, and only a long trial in court helped to achieve the abolition of imprisonment.

However, the most serious attention of the police is focused on the activities of “black archaeologists”, whose actions in Greece are called only “robbery of antiquities”. Police regularly report uncovering entire underground networks “black archaeologists”conducting illegal excavations and trade in antiquities.

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