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live Robbery in the archaeological museum of Ancient Olympia

17 February 2012 / 14:02:00  GRReporter
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The old archaeological museum in Ancient Olympia became the object of an armed robbery in the early hours of the day.

According to the information announced so far, two armed men wearing camouflage clothing broke into the museum at 7:30 am and rendered powerless the employee of the Ministry of Culture, who guarded it. They talked bad Greek and tried to make her show them the whereabouts of a "golden crown" and coins. The employee insisted that there were no such objects in the museum. Then the thieves began breaking the windows around them, stealing whatever they found.

The police said that most of the stolen objects are bronze and clay, and it seems that the thieves took a gold ring too. The exact number of looted objects will become clear after the check museum curators are currently carrying out.

The same sources claim that the police do not know how and in which direction the attackers disappeared. That is why the authorities are looking for clues and questioning the inhabitants of the city, who possibly could have seen them.

According to unconfirmed information, the young guard said that she saw the thieves walking away. She also said she did not know whether they had assistants in the area around the museum, whose task was to observe what was going on during the robbery and possibly to help them escape.

The woman managed to untie herself at 7:50 am and immediately called the police. The official release of the police headquarters indicates that local and neighbouring police departments in the areas of the Peloponnese and Western Greece have responded quickly. Special officers and units from the police station in Attica and teams of the criminal laboratories of the Greek police have departed immediately for Ancient Olympia.

Earlier, Minister of Culture Pavlos Geroulanos resigned and left to Ancient Olympia. There is still no response from the Prime Minister Lucas Papademos as to whether he accepts his resignation.

The thematic museum in Ancient Olympia is located in the outskirts of the town, outside the archaeological site. It was the first museum restored on the occasion of the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 in order it to exhibit objects from the ancient Olympic Games.

In its halls and windows 463 works are displayed which were found in the sanctuary of Zeus in Ancient Olympia, and objects associated with the games from other Greek museums. The exhibits date back to between the 2nd century BC and 5th century AD. They are clay and bronze figurines of warriors and chariots, different objects used by athletes such as disks, dumbbells, pottery for aromatic oils, bronze scrapers for body cleansing, inscriptions and more.

The old museum in Ancient Olympia is housed in a neoclassical building and was opened in 1886. In 1954, the building suffered major damage due to earthquakes. Then, the construction of the new museum began. It was built in 1975 and officially opened in 1982. It exhibits archaeological treasures found near Olympia including some of the few works of the famous sculptor Praxiteles rescued to date. In the photo gallery to the report GRReporter presents photos of his Hermes and other exhibits.

Archaeologists define the robbery as suspicious because the stolen items are described and photographed, making it particularly difficult to sell them on the "black market". However, they believe that the thieves will find a way to sell them to collectors interested in the items.

Tags: Crime newsRobberyMuseumAncient OlympiaResignationMinister of CulturePavlos Geroulanos
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