Thursday 7 January 2021

Lockdown Looting: Massive Hoard of Stolen Ukrainian Artifacts Seized


Serbian customs officers have seized 2,113 ancient Serbian artefacts in a truck with Romanian license plates at the Srpska Crnja border, attempting to cross between Serbia and Romania (Mila Stojanovic, 'Serbian Customs Find 2,000 Historic Artefacts Hidden In Truck' Archaeology News Network 7th Jan 2021).
Serbian Customs said that according to the goods listed in customs documentation the truck, which had Romanian licence plates and was being driven by a 46-year-old Serbian citizen, was transporting parquet from Ukraine to Serbia. The driver, when asked what else he had in the truck, said that he was only carrying two bags of sweets and a couple of pots. “During a detailed inspection of the vehicle, it was determined that the cab of the truck and the side tool box were full of undeclared antique items from various periods: the Bronze Age, the Byzantine period and the Middle Ages, but also items from the ancient Slavs and Celts,” a Customs statement said. “Given the size and diversity of the collection, it is impossible to determine the value without an expert assessment, and all the items will be referred for analysis. It is evident, however, that they are of great historical and archaeological value,” it added. After the artefacts were discovered, the driver told the customs officers that he agreed to transport them from Ukraine to Serbia for a small fee, and that he was told that someone would contact him after he arrived in the country.
There are a series of photos of these items, to my eye, although siome artefacts almost certainly are real dugups, some of the crosses and some of the weapons in particular are modern fakes, a (stone? ceramic? plaster?) plaque does not make much sense as an artefact. ;

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