Police in Cyprus have detained ten people over the weekend and are looking for five more after the discovery of an international antiquities-smuggling ring believed to be the largest such discovery in Cyprus’s history. The objects seized may be worth more than 11m euros, and include pottery, coins, figurines, some of which may be 4,000 years old. Many of the objects may have originated elsewhere, and authorities now are attempting to determine the origins of many of the objects. The BBC points out that Cyprus was an important crossroads in the ancient Mediterranean, with armies and merchants from Egypt, the Roman Empire, Persia, and others. This may make it difficult to trace the origin of these objects, many of which could plausibly have originated from dozens of modern-day nations. The smugglers of course were likely to have disguised or destroyed any evidence of the history of these objects.
- Cyprus smuggling ring broken up, BBC, January 25, 2010.