German cops have arrested an elderly antiques smuggler after catching him with a rare Corinthian helmet believed to date back to a time hundreds of years before the birth of Christ.
The man, who was not named because of local privacy laws but who is 77 years old, was stopped while transporting valuable historical objects including the Corinthian helmet in the German city of Munich. Historians estimate that the helmet dates back to around the fourth century A.D.
Corinthian helmets are a specific type of helmet that originated in ancient Greece, taking their name from the city-state of Corinth. Like this one they were made of bronze, with the metal covering the face and neck to varying degrees with slits for the eyes and mouth.
Soldiers would typically wear the helmet tipped back over their heads while not in combat mode, and the helmet was in use until around the first century A.D. when it fell out of favour.
The Corinthian helmet was the inspiration for the helmet worn by Marvel super villain magneto, as well as the Star Wars character Boba Fett.
Police said the arrested man had been on their radar as somebody who had been smuggling artworks and historical objects into Belgium from where they were made available on the international market.
They said that they had a tip off that the 77-year-old, an Italian citizen, was going to be travelling from Italy to Munich by train with a haul of artworks and were ready to arrest him when he crossed the border.
He was reportedly collared at Munich train station and when he failed to provide documentation for the valuable historical artefact, he was arrested.
As well as the helmet, they also found rare antique coins but say that the value of the helmet alone was probably somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 EUR (42,000 and 84,000 GBP).
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.