Blog Subscription via

March 21, 2021

Recovered: Greek authorities recover a 5th century BCE headless marble statue of a seated male

Following a multi-month investigation, authorities with the Hellenic Police have recovered an extraordinary 5th century BCE statue believed to have possibly come from a temple pediment in the wider area of ​​the Acropolis.   The thirty-seven (37) centimetres high torso of a young man was being shopped by an, as yet, unnamed resident from Corinth, who was stated to have been actively engaged in trying to sell the ancient artefact for 100,000 euros.  

Once the object was potentially authenticated, via collaboration with the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports, the ancient sculpture was seized and the Corinth seller was taken into custody on Wednesday by the Security Directorate of Attica.  On March 19, the artefact was handed over by the Commander of the Security Directorate of Attica, Lieutenant General Petros Tzeferis to the Director of the Documentation and Protection of Cultural Property, Vasiliki Papageorgiou.  

According to Greek Law No. 3028/2002, “On the Protection of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage in General” (article 56), destruction, damage or alteration of a monument, as well as theft or embezzlement of monuments, (articles 53 and 54 respectively, are punishable acts in Greece.  Currently, a criminal case has been filed against the seller, on suspicion of antiquities smuggling, by the Prosecutor's Office, while an investigation continues to determine how the artefact came to be in the seller's possession and who the potential final recipients of the confiscated antiquity were to have been. 

Video footage released by the Hellenic Police demonstrates that the artefact shows signs of having been buried, meaning the likelihood that this piece was from a long-established collection are slim.  Likewise, the artefacts seems to show chipping and intentional damage likely from extraction tools used during its removal.