Greece’s cultural heritage endangered

The looting that continues in Greece today in order supply the illegal antiquities market is extensive. Below is a selection of evidence of looting from only the past five years. Looting for which there is no official evidence is immeasurable.

February 2010
The owner of a cafeteria in eastern Athens arrested on charges of trading in illegal antiquities.

May 2010
Greek men try to sell two looted 5th century Kouros statues

March 2010
Greek police arrest two men trying to sell several artifacts, including a bronze sculpture of Alexander the Great from the 4th century BC.

January 2009
Two men aged 53 and 49 have been arrested in Athens and charged with antiquities theft after a search of their car on Wednesday night revealed an Attic white lekythos dating to the Classical period.

Divers plunder Greece’s underwater antiquities.

February 2009
Greek police arrested a veterinarian with more than 2,000 illegally excavated antiquities.

April 2009
Police in Veria detain two Greek men on charges of illegally trading in antiquities, after finding six pieces of ancient marble columns in their possession.

May 2009
A warrant was issued for the arrest of a man on charges of possessing illegally procured antiquities in Lamia.

July 2009
Police in Fthiotida questioned a 65-year-old man on charges of illegally trading in antiquities.

August 2009
Police in northern Greece say they have recovered a number of stolen antiquities.

September 2009
A 36-year-old woman in Olympia has been arrested for illegal possession of a small collection of antiquities.

The Greek police report that a capital from the Byzantine church built on the site of Pheidias’ workshop at Olympia is stolen.

October 2009
Police detain a 51-year-old woman and an 86-year-old man in connection to charges of illegally trading in antiquities.

January 2008
A family of farmers faced a Larissa prosecutor for allegedly using their bulldozer to dig antiquities out of an archaeological site in central Greece over the New Year holiday.

Police in Karditsa question a 54-year-old man from the nearby town of Lazarina after discovering a huge cache of illegal antiquities in his home. A search of the man’s home unearthed hundreds of coins, urns and other artifacts dating to the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods. The cache included more than 600 bronze coins and dozens of fragments of bronze artifacts.

February 2008
Police in Kalambaka, central Greece, yesterday arrested two people after an inspection of the car in which they were traveling unearthed two ancient artifacts and deposit books for five different bank accounts.

Five people have been arrested and two more are being sought near Serres in northern Greece on suspicion of illegally digging up antiquities, police said yesterday. The seven suspects also face charges of illegally carrying weapons and explosives. Officers said they seized the equipment used by the group to excavate ancient relics.

March 2008
A 62-year-old man has been arrested in northern Athens on suspicion of possessing illegally excavated antiquities, police said yesterday. The unnamed man was taken into custody after more than 30 artifacts were found in his home.

Thieves broke into two churches in the mountainous area of Kalabaka, central Greece, and stole priceless icons.

June 2008
Police in Trikala yesterday detained four people on charges of illegally trading in antiquities after discovering hundreds of ancient artifacts on their homes in the area of Laconia.

August 2008
Police arrest a 68-year-old woman on charges of illegally dealing in antiquities after finding several ancient artifacts in her possession.

October 2008
Police in northern Greece arrest two men for trying to sell dozens of illegally excavated antiquities.

January 2007
A 42-year-old man is arrested in the prefecture of Rhodope on suspicion of being in possession of several illegally excavated antiquities. Officers found in his possession six bronze coins from the Classical era, eight bronze coins from the Byzantine era as well as various pieces of ancient jewelry. Police also found a metal detector at the man’s home.

March 2007
Police in Lamia arrest two local men, aged 43 and 33, they believe to have been involved in the trade of illegally acquired antiquities and drugs. The pair were caught after allegedly selling a selection of ancient artifacts – a warrior’s helmet, ancient coins and a wooden cross – to a third party.

Three people are arrested in Athens and Thebes, central Greece, on suspicion of trading in illegal antiquities, police said yesterday. A 61-year-old woman and 35-year-old man were arrested in Athens after allegedly trying to sell 17 artifacts to an undercover officer.

April 2007
The 48-year-old owner of a jewelry store in central Athens and her 50-year-old supplier are arrested after police seized hundreds of illegally acquired antique coins and jewels and discovered a workshop that has allegedly been used to produce forgeries of these antiquities.

May 2007
Police arrest a man from Trizinia, near Epidaurus in the Peloponnese, for allegedly stealing more than 300 icons from churches.

June 2007
A man from Athens was arrested on suspicion of illegally possessing ancient artifacts, police said yesterday. A raid on the man’s home revealed a number of items from the Hellenistic and Classical eras, according to officers.

Two men were arrested in Thessaloniki for allegedly trying to sell 150,000 euro worth of illegally owned antiquities and almost –6,000 euros in forged banknotes, police said on Saturday.

July 2007
Greek police find more than a thousand artifacts raiding a suspect’s house near the southern city of Corinth.

September 2007
Man detained after taking artifacts from archaeological site in Argos. The unnamed man was caught at the Elefsina toll station, west of Athens, as he was allegedly on his way to meet a potential buyer in the capital.

November 2007
Police in Serres, northern Greece, arrested a 50-year-old man yesterday after seizing from his home in Amfipoli several antiquities believed to have been excavated illegally.

December 2007
Police seize hundreds of ancient coins stashed away by a 70-year-old barber in northern Greece.

July 2006
Police in Salonika arrest a 54-year-old man found in possession of a number of undeclared antiquities. The Globe and Mail (Canada) July 1, 2006, WEEKEND REVIEW; THIS JUST IN; Pg. R6