(ANA/MPA)—Greek authorities on Friday announced the arrest of four people in Heraklion, Crete on charges of attempting to sell a priceless 3,500-year-old statuette of a young man, dated to the mid-Minoan era for the princely sum of one million euros.
The 30cm-high bronze statuette is of a young man in worship, his hands folded across his chest, making it a unique find of its type throughout the island of Crete. The figure has long hair, a gold-plated belt and remains of gold leaf on its calves and left knee. At the base is a peg indicating that it was probably set on a pedestal in an area of worship.
Archaeologists at the Lasithi Antiquities Directorate have dated the statuette to the 16-15 century B.C. The case was cracked as a result of a coordinated Hellenic Police (ELAS) operation that culminated in the arrests of four men, two aged 35 and two aged 41 years old. Police initially stopped one of the 35-year-olds driving a car, in which they found an ancient bronze artifact. The other three men were following behind in two private trucks and also arrested. The police inquiry revealed that the suspects had illegal possession of the statuette and that two of them had shown this to unknown prospective buyers, while the other two were acting as lookouts along the route. The statuette was handed over the antiquities directorate and the car confiscated as evidence, while police are continuing the inquiry. The four suspects were led to the Lasithi misdemeanors’ court prosecutor.