Cultural Postcards + [Southern Europe]

Heritage: Million-euro marble statue seized by Greek authorities
A police officer from Greece's antiquities protection department has been arrested and accused of being part of a smuggling ring that was trying to sell an ancient marble statue worth an estimated 1 million ($1.35 million).

Million-euro marble statue seized by Greek authorities
A photograph released by the police shows the ancient statue
[Credit: To Vima]

Police said on Thursday that the 49-year-old officer was arrested with eight other suspects, following raids and searches at 11 areas in greater Athens and two others in towns in central and northern Greece.

The almost intact 1,900-year-old Graeco-Roman era statue of a male figure measures 65 centimeters (25.5 inches) from head-to-knee, and is being kept at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

Million-euro marble statue seized by Greek authorities
The Hellenistic stele recovered by police in Megara
[Credit: To Vima]

Police did not say whether the statue had been stolen or illegally excavated, but added that a "large number" of less valuable ancient artifacts had also been seized.

In a separate incident Greek authorities have also arrested two men in Megara who had in their possession a carved marble stele depicting two female figures dating from the late Classical or early Hellenistic period.

Sources: Associated Press [July 25, 2014]