Bulgarian officials seize ancient coins at airport


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The customs officials at Sofia Airport prevented an attempt to smuggle a priceless monetary hoard. A collection, consisting of 82 silver tetradrachms of Philip II of Macedonia (the middle of fourth century B.C.), was found by the officials of “Customs Intelligence and Investigation” department at Sofia Airport Customs House.

Bulgarian officials seize ancient coins at airport
The 82 silver tetradrachms date to the time of King Philip II of Macedonia 
[Credit: Bulgarian Customs Agency]

Some of the tetradrachms were minted around the years 359-336 B.C., with the obverse depicting the Macedonian King with a wreath on his head. According to the executed expert report, the seized coins belonged to a collective trouvaille.

Bulgarian officials seize ancient coins at airport
The ancient coins were hidden inside routers destined for the United States 
[Credit: Bulgarian Customs Agency]

Pursuant to the Law on Cultural Heritage, each one of the tetradrachms is of extraordinary cultural, financial and scientific value.

The monetary hoard was intended for export through a courier company, which had to transport it from Bulgaria to USA. The coins were concealed inside three routers. All the tetradrachms were seized and an Administrative Offence act was drawn up.

The details of the case are now being clarified.

Source: Bulgarian Customs Agency [June 20, 2015]



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