Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Israel: Looted Artefacts Seized in Truck Stop

Dozens of ancient archaeological artifacts suspected to have been stolen were seized during this past weekend in Akko, northern Israel when the local police stopped a suspicious vehicle only to discover it was transporting dozens of artifacts, including some material suspected of having been looted from numerous archaeological sites in Israel.
 “Among the antiquities, there are artifacts dating to the Middle Bronze Age, that is to say approximately 4,000 years ago,” said Nir Distelfeld, an Israel Antiquities Authority inspector in the Prevention of Antiquities Theft Unit after examining the findings. “The officers also seized forged coins and glassware which the criminals attempted to present as bona fide antiquities in order to raise the financial value,” Distelfeld added. [...] “The artifacts that were retrieved were excavated destroying our history, in an attempt to sell them out of greed. These people are unlicensed traders, one of whom is also familiar to us from previous incidents,” explained Distelfeld.
The current punishment is two years in prison for illegal trade in antiquities and five years for damaging an excavation site. Ilana Messika, 'Valuable Bronze Age Artifacts - and Forgeries - Seized By Police' Abomus, January 31, 2017

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