Stolen sarcophagus fragment returned to Greece


Share post:

A fragment of an ancient marble sarcophagus smuggled into the United States about 30 years ago was returned Friday to Greek officials during a repatriation ceremony. The artifact dating from A.D. 200 depicts a battle between Greek and Trojan warriors.

Stolen sarcophagus fragment returned to Greece
The section of an ancient sarcophagus, stolen from Greece in 1988, has been returned, 
the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said [Credit: Ethnos]

The three-foot-wide fragment, which weighs 400 pounds, features a nude man on horseback wielding a weapon as he charges toward a warrior holding a shield. A young man wearing only a cloak stands behind the rearing horse.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. presented the $500,000 relic to the consul general of Greece, Dr. Konstantinos Koutras, who said it would be exhibited at the National Archeological Museum in Athens.

“Trafficked antiquities often acquire a veneer of legitimacy after the passage of time or changes in ownership,” Vance cautioned.

The artifact was displayed at Royal-Athena Galleries in Midtown, which forfeited the piece in January once informed of its criminal provenance, officials said.

Koutras expressed gratitude for the piece’s return while bemoaning the international scourge of smugglers.

“Sadly, in the past, our country has suffered from the cruel and continued smuggling of its antique artifact, and even to this day, a very important part of our heritage remains scattered throughout the world,” he said.

The sarcophagus fragment was looted in 1988 from a site in northern Greece, just west of the scenic port city of Thessaloniki, authorities said.

The relic was smuggled out of Greece and bounced around Europe before finally landing in New York.

Author: Rebecca Rosenberg | Source: New York Post [February 11, 2017]



Related articles

The mystery of lizard breath

Air flows mostly in a one-way loop through the lungs of monitor lizards – a breathing method shared...

Two historic shipwrecks found in central Stockholm

Another two shipwrecks dating back to at least the 1600s have been found in central Stockholm. Divers looking for...

Yellowstone Lake’s prehistoric campsites studied

Proteins found on ancient stone tools recovered from the shores of Yellowstone Lake tell of great bear, deer...

North York Moors skeletons were ‘sacrificial’

A new investigation has revealed that human skeletons discovered in caves on the North York Moors were likely...

Italian government steps up Pompeii security

The Italian government is launching extraordinary measures to protect the Pompeii archaeological site including 30 new specialized security...

Heritage body to bring back Mughal glory to city’s gardens

In an effort to rejuvenate the gardens of Delhi, many of which came up during the Mughal period,...

Scientists discover shifts in climate-sensitive plankton over the past millennium

Past and current climate change has affected the food sources in the surface waters in the North Pacific...

Dinosaurs with killer claws yield new theory about flight

New research from Montana State University's Museum of the Rockies has revealed how dinosaurs like Velociraptor and Deinonychus...