Posts tagged ‘Museum of the History of the Olympic Games’


Greece: Olympia Museum robbery suspects convicted and sentenced

Seven people have been convicted for the robbery of the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games (Global Post via @artcrimeHQ and eKathimerini via Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues). Apart from the fact that the English-language and French-language media have misreported the prison sentences of the convicted (1), the amateurish nature of the hold-up has been forgotten.

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Olympia museum robbery suspects remanded; plead poverty

Two of the three arrested for the Olympia museum robbery have been remanded and one has been released; at least two others, and maybe more, are still wanted.

There is DNA evidence tying the 41-year-old “mastermind” to the tools used in the crime (through material left at the scene of the crime), and he has accepted total responsibility; but the evidence suggests that he must have had at least one (equal) partner-in-crime, not just odd-job men.

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aside: there was false hope of solving Olympia museum robbery case in October (and July, May, April, March, February)

While trying to improve my Google alerts (particularly the Greek- and Turkish-language ones), I found yet another moment of false hope in the Olympia museum robbery case. I haven’t recorded them here in order to make the police look bad: false leads and dead ends are inevitable parts of police investigations; and this is a success that the Greek police deserve to celebrate (if for no other reason than out of relief that it ‘has proven its effectiveness‘ (ή ότι έχει ‘μία απόδειξη της αποτελεσματικότητας της’)).(1)

However, there were several, significant “false leads” (or misleadings of the public), and these need to be documented.

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Olympia museum robbery: three local, Greek suspects arrested in police sting

Three local, Greek suspects have been arrested for the robbery of the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games on the 17th of February 2012. (See here for an outline of events. Hat tip to nick_arch, through whom I first heard of the arrests (1).)

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INTERPOL has initiated an ‘operation to try to recover’ artefacts stolen in Olympia museum robbery

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Martin Rogers (@mrogersyahoo), ‘Interpol has mounted an operation to try to recover’ the ‘priceless’ artefacts stolen from the Museum of the History of the Ancient Olympic Games, in Olympia, Greece, on the 17th of February this year. However, it does not appear to be an intelligence-led swoop on the thieves, smugglers and dealers of the 77 artefacts; it appears to be a hunch-led fishing expedition.

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Greek police have new evidence on the Olympia museum robbery; I have new questions.

Allegedly, Greek intelligence have used phone-tapping, and Greek police now have information on the robbery of the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games in Olympia, Greece. However, no-one has been arrested, and the new claims seem to make the previous ones even less reliable than before.

Below, I query the identity (or identification) of the suspects; the method of the police investigation; the quantity and quality of the evidence; and the police’s theory on the crime and the criminals who committed it. (At the end, I summarise the five key new questions.)

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40 people against a wave of organised antiquities trafficking is a joke

While I was away, the Inter Press Services’s (IPS) Apostolis Fotiadis summarised how the Austerity Plan Decapitates Greek Cultural Heritage. He noted that the cultural heritage sector had already been understaffed and underfunded. And he explained how the staff and funding cuts, and structural reorganisations endangered cultural property protection: soon, ‘the Ministry of Culture will be unable to cover even its basic operational functions’.

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Greek police search Switzerland for artefacts stolen from Olympia museum

A week ago, it was reported that Greek police were searching Switzerland for artefacts stolen from the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games; but there have been no reports of recovery of artefacts, or arrests of suspects.

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rumour wrong: artefacts stolen from Olympia museum not found in case of 45-member antiquities gang

Greek police have not found the Olympic museum’s stolen artefacts. Ta Nea have reported that ‘the possibility that objects from the recent robbery at the Olympia Museum are included amongst the finds has been excluded [Αποκλείστηκε το ενδεχόμενο μεταξύ των ευρημάτων να περιλαμβάνονται αντικείμενα της πρόσφατης ληστείας στο Μουσείο της Ολυμπίας]’.

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claim that police found Olympic museum artefacts during 45 dealers’ arrests not proved, not corroborated

Evidently, Google has not crawled the updates to the main post (on the Greek police’s arrest of at least 44 45 illicit antiquities handlers). So, I just thought I would reiterate the key information so far.

I want to appeal for caution over the unproved, uncorroborated rumour that police found Olympic museum artefacts during their searches.

Update (5th March 2012): police have not found the Olympic museum’s stolen artefacts.

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