Aladdin's Cave of stolen relics uncovered
22 March 2004, CORDOBA – A secret 'museum' containing 5,000 stolen archaeological relics of "incalculable historical value" has been discovered, police said Monday.
22 March 2004
CORDOBA – A secret 'museum' containing 5,000 stolen archaeological relics of "incalculable historical value" has been discovered, police said Monday.
The museum contained Phoenician, Iberian, Roman, Greek and Egyptian pieces.
In an operation - codenamed Bull – police arrested the collector behind the secret archaeological museum in a three-month operation.
The museum was situated in Aguilar de la Frontera, near Cordoba, in Andalusia, southern Spain.
Rafael Pérez, Guardia Civil spokesman, said: "This was a treated as a private collection and was of incalculable historical value. The pieces were stolen from archaeological sites in Cordoba, Jaen and Seville."
Among the collection were works of art including a carving of Hermes from the 2nd century, another collection of writings from the 16th and 17th centuries and a Roman tomb with the remains of the bones of a slave wearing a ring round their neck.
Other important elements of the secret collection included Egyptian relics, pieces of Islamic art, gold sheets with Greek inscriptions and a restored table.
Rafael Daza, a Guardia Civil colonel who headed the operation, said this type of collection was "dangerous".
He said those behind the museum were under the false impression that they were protecting these relics but really they caused "incalculable damage to the heritage" of the country.
One person may face charges. The relics will be stored until a decision has been made about their future.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news