Greek Police Recover Antiquities: Kouros Statue and Ancient Gold Coin

Recovered antiquities
Police recover antiquities to be sold and arrest three for attempted antiquities smuggling. Credit EL.AS

Greek police have recovered antiquities including a kouros statue torso and an ancient gold coin among other artifacts before they were sold for millions by antiquity smugglers.

According to the official announcement by the Hellenic Police (EL.AS), an extensive police operation took place in Megara, Pefki, and Oinophyta on Thursday morning by the Cultural Heritage and Antiquities department, which led to the identification of three people who had illegal possession of “ancient movable monuments” among them, the rare coin and the Kuros torso.

A police officer managed to infiltrate the circles of antiquities collectors and trap them, pretending to be the buyer of the precious monuments in their possession, planning a meeting for the sale at a point on the Athens-Patras highway.

Against the three people arrested aged 54, 69, and 52 years, a case file was filed for setting up a criminal organization, and violation of antiquities and weapons laws.

What did the police find?

From the physical and house searches that the police conducted on the antiquities owners, the following were found and confiscated:

  • A rare gold coin, Staters of Ptolemy I of Egypt of the 4th century BC with a diameter of 18 millimeters and a weight of 8.5 grams.
  • A Kouros torso measuring 50 x 34.5 cm.
  • A marble statuette of a woman 33 cm high in two pieces.
  • Brass ring with a diameter of 7 cm.
  • Two rings, one with a swastika decoration on the sling and the other with a decoration of entwined snakes with an engraved inscription “Myrtali”,
  • Danaki, with a side that depicts an eight-pointed star and on the other side has the inscription “Emi to genos Ouranion Myrtalis”.
  • Image depicting Saint Onoufrios and Saint Spyridon dating after 1830.
  • Book entitled “Greek points and their values”.
  • Barrel, hunting carbine, and revolver.

The police officers showed the seized antiquities to an archaeologist of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Western Attica and to a numismatist regarding the rare ancient coin, who opined that the items fell within the protective provisions of the legislation for the protection of antiquities.

Afterward, the antiquities were handed over for safekeeping and final assessment to the Archaeological Museum of Megara and the Numismatic Museum of Athens.

According to the Police announcement, the cultural, historical, and artistic value of the gold coin (Statira of Ptolemy I of Egypt) is remarkable, because it is a solid and not cast extremely rare coin, as there are only seven of its kind in the world.

The Kouros torso is also a piece of an ancient statue of incalculable value!

Indicatively, it is reported that a corresponding part of the Kouros had been attempted to be sold at an auction in the United States of America for a sum of 20,000,000 dollars!

The arrested persons were taken to the Criminal Prosecutor of Athens.

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