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US nationals arrested for smuggling stolen antiquities outside Greece

Two US nationals were arrested at Athens’ international airport on Monday after fragments of ancient vessels and other objects were discovered in their luggage.

The Oklahoma-born couple, both aged 64, had been traveling to Greece with their 32-year-old son and were heading to Istanbul to continue their holiday.

During a routine x-ray luggage check, officers found 65 fragments of ancient vessels and objects packaged in 14 transparent plastic bags in the man’s suitcase and another eight fragments in two bags in his spouse’s bag.

The man, a pastor, admitted that he had collected the objects from the Acropolis Hill of Athens, the Heptapyrgion (Yedi Kule) of Thessaloniki, Delphi, the Temple of Apollo, the Roman Agora of Thessaloniki, the Areopagus in Athens and the Byzantine Towers of Veria.

He also told police that he teaches Greek history and that he wanted the fragments to display them to his students and his flock in church.

The artifacts are believed to date to the Roman and Byzantine period, according to an archaeologist from the Ephorate of Antiquities of Eastern Attica who examined them, adding that they fall under the provisions of the law on the protection of antiquities.

The two US nationals were led before a prosecutor in Athens and were to face charges of illegally trading in antiquities.

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  1. Trading? Collecting illegally yes but not trading.

  2. But of course! Loot, take what you want, and go home with it!
    Seriously, these people what are they thinking?
    On that topic, I might add that sadly the looting of archaeological sites is widespread, including by the local populations, and it has been going on since the early 19th century.
    Too many times I noticed archaeological treasures that locals keep in their homes and that they have no intention to ever hand out to the local Ephorates.

  3. so it’s looting when anyone else does it. when your own government is selling off the national heritage, thats called ‘investment’, right?

    • Correct. They are only following the example of the central bankers of the EU and US who are looting the people in a grand scale.