recover more than 200 archaeological finds from metal detecting in Sicily,
Police caught a metal detecting artefact hunter looting a site of a Arab-Norman castle in Francavilla di Sicilia, Messina province. At the sight of the police, the man tried to escape, trying to get rid of the metal detector and other tools for digging, but was captured shortly thereafter. During the subsequent house search, the police found numerous illegally obtained archaeological finds of the Arab-Norman period: 183 ancient coins and 44 metal objects of various types (rings, buckles etc). The man, a 53 year old , was charged with illegal interference with an archaeological site and unauthorized appropriation of cultural goods belonging to the State.
Fortunately, most countries in the EU recognize looting of archaeological sites for personal entertainment and profit for what it is, only a few small islands just off the coast of the continent have a different view, but since they are leaving the EU in the next few years and losing any influence they may have had, the opinion of British looters and their archaeological supporters will no longer count for much.
Vignette: a sad policeman looks at photos of part of the looter's collection. Note the characteristics of the equipment behind.