@samarkeolog Twitter archive: illicit antiquities trade in Greece

Partly to help me (publicly) archive material from before my @conflictantiq Twitter feed on looting and destruction of cultural and community property, partly to help me clarify (for myself) what I want to document on it, I’ve copied-and-pasted(-and-hyperlinked) the (immediately or otherwise) relevant material from my @samarkeolog Twitter feed (primarily on professional, Balkan and Mediterranean matters).

It was a huge time sink; but I am utterly dedicated to uneconomic(al) activity.

@samarkeolog tweets on the illicit antiquities trade in Greece are here.

Greece: illicit antiquities trade

‘#Olympia #museum #robbery evidence suggests that the “mastermind” had at least one equal partner-in-crime’ (29th November 2012)

‘#Olympia #museum #robbery suspects remanded; plead #poverty, #crisis in #Greece‘ (29th November 2012)

‘aside: there was false hope of solving Olympia museum robbery case in October (and July, May, April, March, February)’ (29th November 2012)

‘#Olympia #museum #robbery update: five suspects, all #Patra Greeks; ‘mastermind’ sold lighters on a bench in #Athens‘ (24th November 2012)

‘.@hellenicpolice suggested #London connection to #Olympia #museum #robbery, so @INTERPOL_HQ then ran operation. Why?’ (24th November 2012)

‘.@hellenicpolice suggested a #Switzerland connection to #Olympia #museum #robbery. Why?’ (24th November 2012)

‘Both museum guard & @hellenicpolice claimed Albanian connection to #Olympia #museum #robbery. Why?’ (24th November 2012)

‘Olympia museum robbery: three local, Greek suspects arrested in police sting’ (24th November 2012)

‘INTERPOL has initiated an “operation to try to recover” artefacts stolen in Olympia museum robbery’ (25th July 2012)

@mrogersyahoo @YahooSports 2/2 “working to raise awareness” statement’s #Interpol’s Works of Art unit’s front page, not comment on #Olympia’ (@samarkeolog, 24th July 2012)

@mrogersyahoo @YahooSports 1/2 does “Interpol to target [#Olympia #museum] thieves at Games” refer to a specific operation? Because…’ (@samarkeolog, 24th July 2012)

Interpol hunting thieves who stole priceless items from ancient Olympic site. My story on @YahooSports‘ (@mrogersyahoo, 24th July 2012)

‘Greek police have new evidence on the Olympia museum robbery; I have new questions’ (10th May 2012)

Greek National Gallery security ‘woeful’: e.g. alarm system’s (I presume/pray, back-up) batteries dead @ekathimerini‘ (19th April 2012)

Probe: security at Nat’l Gallery in Athens (Picasso stolen in Jan) a mess. Only thing missing: welcome mat for thieves’ (@NickMalkoutzis, 19th April 2012)

‘.@P_Yeroulanos μπορείτε να πείτε στην @astynomia ότι έκανε λάθη στις φωτογραφίες των κλεμμένων αντικειμένων του Μουσείου Ολυμπίας (62 κ 71);’ (@samarkeolog, 18th April 2012)

@teacherdude but given the Greek police (still) don’t even have the right photos in their appeal for info, I don’t have much hope’ (4th April 2012)

@teacherdude *if* they were smuggled to Switzerland, they might still be there (because of the way stolen property’s legalised)’ (4th April 2012)

#Greece police search #Switzerland for artefacts stolen from #Olympia museum, seemingly without success’ (2nd April 2012)

‘#Greece MP requested & got pro bono (free) private security equipment&training for #Olympia museum v @lioutastasos‘ (7th March 2012)

@artcrimeHQ acc2media Olympic robbers wore face paint&ski masks; used crowbars/hammers/slegehammers/guns&AKs; IDed by DNA&prints/not… 😀 (7th March 2012)

@artcrimeHQ sorry, I didn’t see your reply or get notification of it. Yeah, amount of contradictory information is mad(dening)!’ (7th March 2012)

@IsraelNewsStory where did you hear that police found Olympic museum artefacts in antiquities gang bust in N. Greece? What was your source?’ (@samarkeolog, 5th March 2012)

@artcrimeHQ rumour was wrong. Greek police did not find any Olympia museum artefacts in northern antiquities ring bust’ (5th March 2012)

‘rumour wrong: artefacts stolen from #Olympia museum NOT found in case of 44-member antiquities gang #Greece’ (5th March 2012)

‘claim that police found Olympic museum artefacts during 44 dealers’ arrests not proved, not corroborated‘ (5th March 2012)

‘1source says #Olympia museum artefacts found during 44 dealers’ arrests (ht @artcrimeHQ) but no other En/Gr media (yet)’ (5th March 2012)

‘I should’ve tagged that differently: #UK, #Germany & #Switzerland illicit antiquities markets drive #looting in #Greece’ (4th March 2012)

‘#Greece update: 44 #illicit #antiquities dealers arrested; artefacts listed; smuggled&sold in UK, Germany, Switzerland’ (4th March 2012)

@guardian police have arrested 36+ illicit antiquities dealers, with thousands of coins, worth millions, in Greece’ (4th March 2012)

police have arrested at least 36 #illicit #antiquities dealers, with thousands of coins, in #Greece’ (4th March 2012)

‘thirty-five! MT @PolicingthePast 35 arrested in #Greece w’ stolen antiquities; thousands of ancient coins’ (3rd March 2012 – tweet’s link cut)

‘If #Interpol’s corrected/removed duplicate #Olympia photos, why hasn’t @P_Yeroulanos’s Culture Ministry?’ (@samarkeolog, 3rd March 2012)

‘on [@INTERPOL_HQ] no duplicate #Olympia photos – corrected/removed (unlike CulMin’s own appeal)?’ (3rd March 2012)

‘.@ekathimerini says #Olympia museum robbers ‘at large’. So @astynomia had wrong/no suspect; no fingerprint/DNA #Greece’ (2nd March 2012)

‘Beschreibungen der 77 Artefakte aus Museum für die Geschichte der Olympischen Spiele, Olympia, Griechenland gewohlen‘ (25th February 2012)

‘descriptions de la 77 objets anciens qui ont été volés du Musée de l’Histoire des Jeux Olympiques, Olympie, Grèce’ (25th February 2012)

‘I’m exasperated by contradictory comments&reports on #Olympia museum robbery, but I think I’ve got them all now. New overview after a kip!’ (25th February 2012)

@P_Yeroulanos @astynomia on the CCTV footage from the #Olympia museum, can you see the cloth and duct tape falling off the sledgehammer?’ (@samarkeolog, 24th February 2012)

‘up-to-date on #Olympia museum robbery: Albanian detained; as predicted, opportunistic crime, not professional heist’ (24th February 2012)

‘.@P_Yeroulanos @astynomia have you released the CCTV footage of the suspect in the #Olympia museum robbery?’ (@samarkeolog, 24th February 2012)

‘.@P_Yeroulanos to ‘exhaust all avenues’ in #Olympia case; and absorb all flak for systemic heritage security problems‘ (24th February 2012)

@samarkeolog There are dozens of documented cases where police have been filmed planting evidence on ppl arrested in demos’ (@teacherdude, 24th February 2012)

@teacherdude hence him being suspected of being in a gang suspected of robbing jewellery shops, thus suspected of robbing museum as well…’ (24th February 2012)

@samarkeolog Since the case has been embarrassing politically good chance cops rounded up usual suspects and made a case to fit’ (@teacherdude, 24th February 2012)

‘.@teacherdude I won’t be surprised if terrified woman who’s had gun pointed at her,&has been assaulted, IDs police’s suspect (by his eyes!?)’ (24th February 2012)

@samarkeolog Wonder if the evidence will turn out to be a “confession” conveniently signed after days in police custody?’ (@teacherdude, 24th February 2012)

‘BREAKING? Police detain suspect for Olympia museum robbery’ (24th February 2012)

@AntiDraseis thank you. (In a while) I’m going to insert some punctuation to make it easier to Google Translate into other languages’ (22nd February 2012)

@samarkeolog Thanks for the translated catalogue. I Have already sent it to foreign [colleagues]’ (@AntiDraseis, 22nd February 2012)

‘the security of unemployment 😉 MT @Richard_Rothaus Courage to say it–the Olympia Heist news shows something’s rotten’ (22nd February 2012)

‘MT @AntiDraseis Ο Κρητικός σφραγιδοκύλινδρος που εκλάπη από την Ολυμπία #Olympia’ (22nd February 2012)

‘#22fgr αν η κλοπή από μουσείο στην Ολυμπία ήταν επαγγελματική, για διεθνές εμπόριο, γιατί ΕΓΏ έπρεπε να μεταφράσω τη περίγραφη αντικειμένων;’ (22nd February 2012)

‘.@astynomia @P_Yeroulanos if Olympia Museum robbery was pro heist for international market, why did *I* have to translate the artefact info?’ (22nd February 2012)

‘Olympic Museum robbery: a professional heist for stuff that was not in the museum…?’ (22nd February 2012)

‘.[@saveantiquities] details of Olympia Museum robbery, English-language list & photos‘ (21st February 2012)

‘MT @saveantiquities Have you seen these antiquities? Images of stolen objects from the Olympia Museum @protothema‘ (21st February 2012)

‘@jrstrang English translation of list of Olympic Museum’s stolen artefacts & photo records‘ (21st February 2012)

photo records of the 77 #archaeology artefacts stolen from Olympic Museum, Olympia, #Greece’ (21st February 2012)

‘translation: English-language descriptions of 77 artefacts stolen from Museum of the History of the Olympic Games’ (21st February 2012)

‘if so, this is why they wouldn’t care about #Greece MT @Apocalypse2001 need to be quartered, disemboweled, and hung; bet they were Albanian’ (@samarkeolog, 21st February 2012)

‘Olympia museum robbery update: Police say professional heist; Culture Ministry say unprofessional holdup (more later)’ (21st February 2012)

‘update on Olympia museum robbery: Culture Ministry has published descriptions&photographs of stolen artefacts‘ (21st February 2012)

‘.@michaelmuseums @derekfincham @ashlarblocks they wanted unmarketable stuff; couldn’t even identify it; then smashed&grabbed nearest things’ (19th February 2012)

‘#Μουσειο, #Ολυμπια, #Ελλαδα: νέες λεπτομέρειες σχετικά με ληστεία, αναπάντητα ερωτήματα, οικονομία και ασφάλεια #κριση’ (18th February 2012)

@c_katsari only stolen artefact I’ve seen described in detail was a gold ring seal with a depiction of a bull-leaping (taurokathapsion) :(‘ (18th February 2012)

‘#Olympia #Museum update: new details on robbery; unanswered questions; economy & security in #Greece #crisis’ (18th February 2012)

‘Imagine, Mega TV news (and maybe others) puts the story of two ex-Laos clowns joining New Democracy ahead of the robbery at Olympia’ (@damomac, 17th February 2012)

‘#archaeology update on #Olympia #Museum robbery, #Greece: Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos has resigned’ (17th February 2012)

‘BREAKING #ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS: robbery at #Olympia #Museum, #Greece (hat tip, @moutsakos)’ (17th February 2012)

‘From ICP: Art and Antiquities Crime Up 30% in Greece #art #law #culture’ (@derekfincham, 15th February 2012)

‘RT @GoodNewsGR: Reading: “Greece wins Swiss court case over ancient coin”‘ (@stratosathens, 12th January 2012)

‘dread2think what’s happening2 #archaeology sites RT @guardiannews Picasso&Mondrian works stolen from Athens art gallery‘ (9th January 2012)

‘The dark cultural underbelly of the Greek economic crisis. Unguarded archaeological sites = increase in looted…’ (@ChasingAphrodit, 25th June 2011)

‘nice to see Greeks & Albanians exploring history together RT @telefonillo AP: Greece: Gold hunters arrested for excavation blast‘ (9th June 2011)

‘Greece: Albanian, Greek drugs, arms, antiquities smuggling‘ (1st January 2011)


  • I didn’t include ambiguous tweets, mid-event tweets, etc.
  • I removed incomplete sentences added by automatic tweet generators.
  • I converted in-tweet links into hyperlinked text.
  • I didn’t provide the permalink to my own tweets of links, because it would’ve meant a flood of unnecessary links and “@samarkeolog”s (and swallowed even more time).
  • Because my early tweets’ links weren’t clickable, I copied-and-pasted all of the tweets themselves (rather than links for embedding), but it’s far, far too time-consuming to continue to do that.

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