Greek coin hoard returned by Switzerland

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A hoard of ancient Greek silver coins seized at a Swiss airport is being repatriated to Greece, the culture ministry in Athens says.

Greek coin hoard returned by Switzerland
A coin bearing an image of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.
Note: this is not one of the coins found [Credit: Reuters]

In a statement, the ministry said the 118 coins from the early 4th century BC were confiscated by Zurich airport customs in November 2011, from Konstantinos Vanheerswynghels, a Belgian man permanently residing in Greece.

The coins are thought to have been originally buried together, probably for safety during times of unrest, although the find spot is unknown.

In recent years, the authorities have stepped up efforts to get back illegally exported artefacts from foreign museums and collections, plundered over the centuries.

The ministry said the coins’ return followed an out of court settlement, but gave no further details. The hoard was expected to arrive at the Numismatic Museum of Athens later on Friday.  

Source: Associated Press [May 31, 2013]

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