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Greece plans new measures to stop looting of antiquities

The Greek government have announced further plans for stemming the trade in looted antiquities from the country.

Khaleej Times (Dubai) [1]

Khaleej Times Online >> News >> THE WORLD
Greece plans crackdown on antiques trafficking
9 July 2007

ATHENS – Greece plans a raft of fresh measures to combat the multi-million dollar international trade in stolen and fake antiques, Culture Minister Georgos Voulgarakis said on Monday.

The government will introduce legislation later this month to ensure closer cooperation between archeologists and the police to combat ‘one the most lucrative criminal activities in the world,’ Voulgarakis said.

Other measures include the creation of a special division within the culture ministry charged with tracing stolen items abroad and repatriating them, allowing phone taps on suspects and prison terms for makers of fakes.

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has made the return of Greece’s culturalheritage a top priority, securing last year the return of four ancient masterpieces from the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Athens has also been pressing for the past two decades the British Museum in London to return a collection of marble sculptures from the Parthenon, removed from the ancient temple under British ambassador Lord Elgin in 1806-11.