The Israeli Authorities have recovered a huge loot of stolen antiques from several continents, most of which are believed to have been robbed from graves.
The operation took place after various months of investigation which led the authorities to three different private homes in Gush Dan District in central Israel.
According to a social media post from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA): “This operation is one of the largest carried out against the theft and trade of antiquities in Israel. It is suspected that most of the artefacts were robbed from ancient burial sites in the Mediterranean basin, Africa and South America.”
According to the newspaper Haaretz, a truck was required to cart the valuable goods away, some of which had even been restored by the thieves.
The IAA said on Facebook that investigators were gobsmacked by the thousands of artefacts uncovered, many of which: “are worth being on display in museums”.
The IAA said they discovered: “Rare finds of the 10th century BCE – 11th century CE, ancient coins, statues, figurines from the Roman period and more.”
The head of theft prevention for the IAA, Amir Ganor, told the press: “We haven’t counted them yet… We made lists. It’s a gargantuan find – hundreds of coins, pottery from a lot of periods, statues and bronze items, stone items, and glass as well.”
The artefacts were found in three different houses, which were raided after various months following dealers carrying out illegal sales.
According to The Times of Israel, the IAA is now working to discover the origin of each artefact.
The police reportedly arrested three suspects who are being questioned and more arrests are expected to be made soon.
There has been no further comment on what will happen to the recovered antiques.
The investigation continues.
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Story By: Lisa-Maria Goertz, Sub-Editor: Jana Tomovska, Agency: Newsflash
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