Antiquities looted from Greece were found in a warehouse in Geneva years later The Thief: A key figure in the illegal antiquities trade with ties to Italian grave robbers
Greece claims to have seized hundreds of looted art objects, including a second-century bronze statue, from a British antiquities dealer, after a 17-year legal battle.
The fight to recover the 351 artifacts began in 2006, when authorities began tracking down a man named Robin Sims who was selling antiquities, Greece’s Culture Minister Lina Madoni said in a statement on Friday.
The development in the investigation came years later, when Italian and Swiss police in 2016 found a cache of archaeological artefacts stolen from Italy and stored by Sims, a key figure in the illegal antiquities trade with ties to Italian grave robbers, in a storage unit in the port of Geneva. The extensive collection brought back to Greece includes notable items such as a carved white stone figurine dating back to the 4th millennium BC.
Other significant finds include an ancient Greek statue dating between 3200 and 2700 BC, a damaged marble statue of Cora from the Archaic period between 550-500 BC and an Archaic marble head of Cora or Sphinx from 550-500 BC.
At the same time, Greece is fighting for the return of artefacts looted from museums and private collections around the world. Three pottery shards from the Parthenon temple in Athens, preserved by the Vatican for centuries, were returned to Greece in March in what Pope Francis called a “gesture of friendship.” The remaining fragments of the monument are scattered in many well-known museums.
Earlier this year, reports were also published according to which the Greek government and the ‘British Museum’ are in advanced negotiations for the return of the Parthenon marbles. The ancient sculptures, also known as the Elgin Marbles, were taken from the Parthenon Temple in Athens in the early 19th century by the British diplomat Lord Elgin and have since been held by the British Museum.