Friday, 26 October 2018

Police Seize Unreported Hoard in Spain

Burgos Hoard objects
After authorities detected a suspicious online antiquities sales, four people have been arrested for allegedly being complicit in the plundering of an archaeological site in Spain and  misappropriation and receiving archaeological items illegally. (Dilip Kuner, Rare archaeological artefacts seized by police in Spain  Euro weekly News 11 October 2018)
The investigation began last November after the Nature Protection Service of the Guardia Civil (SEPRONA) detected the sale of several spearheads through specialised internet media sites. The agents identified and located an advertiser in the town of Burgos, who was found to have a batch of 50 ancient pieces that were taken by police to be studied and catalogued by the Museum of Burgos. An expert report showed that the metal items had been recently dug up. Police then launched Operation MUSEROLA to investigate the illegal trade in antiquities in the region. The aim was to locate the plundered site and identify those responsible and recover the items stolen. Guardia Civil searched two homes and arrested those responsible, one in the province of Toledo and three in Burgos. One raid uncovered links to the drugs trade with cocaine and precision scales discovered. Police also found the plunderer who was working a plot of land next to the archaeological site. 
Guardia Civil officers have recovered 92 rare Celtiberian pieces, part of them seem to have come from a hoard of arms of Celtiberian origin dating to the 4th century BC. Among the recovered pieces, mostly made of iron, are spear tips, an iron sword, daggers and horse bits. It is not clear what happened about the buyers who had obtained illegally excavated artefacts last year, have they been located too?

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