Europol conducted a special operation on suppression of art-трафика in Bulgaria
ARTinvestment.RU   26 июня 2020

As a result, from illegal circulation it is withdrawn more than 4600 items and arrested 8 people

25 June 2020, press-центр police service the European Union has published information on the results of international operations on suppression of illegal export and sale of antiquities and Antiques from the territory of Bulgaria. During the operation, called MEDICUS, were arrested 8 persons and seized from illegal turnover more than 4600 works of art and collectibles.

Among items intended for illegal sale, were ceramics, glass urns, lamps, arrowheads, spears, and old coins. Most of the seized items belong to the period of the Roman Empire and was found in the sites of military camps located on the territory of modern Northern Bulgaria. However, ancient Rome is not limited to: some of the found artifacts and experts attribute to other eras — bronze age, early iron age, middle ages and Ottoman period.

According to published details of the case, the items seized from the archaeologists, who carried out illegal excavations, smuggling exported from the territory of Bulgaria only in transit through Germany for resale in the UK. During transport the objects found forged documents of origin. The investigation was conducted by the joint efforts of the General Directorate for combating organized crime of the Ministry of internal Affairs of Bulgaria, the State criminal police of Bavaria (Bayerisches Landeskriminalamt) and the UK police with the support of Europol. Despite the significant number anyway aware of the actions of the investigation employees, from October last year, information about the investigation was not published in the media before making arrests of the main actors of this criminal scheme. In the end, this week special services of the five suspects were arrested in Bulgaria, and three more people took the act in the UK during the border crossing the country by car, which was hidden in a large number of antique items.

In a press-релизе Europol separately noted that such a method of legalization of objects of ancient and antique art, when the authorities and art-институциям not aware of the existence of these objects and their origin is hidden through falsified documents and fake provenance, — is the most common modus operandi in the market of Antiques. So today, more than ever, it is important when purchasing items of this category is to draw attention not only to the documents, but their source and the reputation of the seller.


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