The Greek road police have arrested two men for try to sell an antique gold crown and bracelet in the town of Asprovalta, near Thessaloniki.
The authorities were alerted that one of the men, a painter by profession, was dealing in antiques. This caused the police to stop his car on the outskirts of Asprovalta and they found the precious items in a shoe box under the passenger seat. Also in the vehicle was a retired police officer who was arrested along with the painter on charges of antiquities smuggling.
The crown, made in the shape of oak leaves and acorns, weighs almost a kilo, so its gold would be worth more than $ 50,000 nowadays. But at this price the archaeological value would have to be added, which would raise it to an incalculable figure. The bracelet is in the shape of two intertwined snakes adorned with red gemstones.
The painter, who reportedly had been trying to sell the pieces for hundreds of thousands of euros, told police that He had gotten the crown and bracelet from someone in his hometown of Komotini, but denied knowing the exact origin of both. Authorities believe they may have been looted from the Komotini area.
Many have been discovered Macedonian tombs containing gold objects. The crowns were built in the shape of the leaves of various trees that were associated with different deities. For example, the oak leaves of the crown found in Asprovalta were related to Zeus. Typically these discoveries of gilded artifacts have occurred in the tombs of the most prominent men in the Hellenistic world. Ancient sources explain that golden crowns were often used in religious ceremonies.
The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, just 40 kilometers west of where the thieves were caught, it houses the world's largest collection of Macedonian gold crowns. In an ironic coincidence, there is currently an exhibit in the museum titled "End the Antiquities Trade," featuring two Macedonian gold crowns that were looted years ago and returned to Greece later.
Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.