|Guns and ancient coins|
Greek police have busted what they say is a criminal organisation that has been looting antiquities from ancient sites in the country for the past 10 years and smuggling them out to auction houses and private buyers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the UK. A spokesman for the Patras police department in western Greece, which led the 14-month investigation, said on Wednesday that more than 50 people were involved in the ring and 26 arrests have been made. [...] Police said the works were sold using fake provenance documents attributing them to private collections in Europe, but that the auction houses involved (which have not been named) knew the coins were illicit property and often helped inflate the final prices paid for them. Officials added that extensive paperwork will help them track down many of the objects that have already been sold. “For very many of the coins we have full documentation, starting from when they were discovered in the earth to the auction at which they were sold,” the police spokesman Haralambos Sfetsos told The Associated Press.
Let us have some naming and shaming. Collectors want the Medici archives made public, let us see the Patras Ring archives made public after the rest of the arrests have been made so we can all see who was handling the stuff. Will we see the International dealers' associations joining in that call? Publish the Patras Ring archives while they are fresh and before the stolen artefacts change hands again.