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Police recover artifacts stolen from Olympia

Police in Patra, western Greece, on Saturday arrested three men in connection with the looting of the Archaeological Museum of Olympia in February.

All of the stolen artifacts have been recovered, police said.

ďThe discovery and arrest of the perpetrators of the robbery and the recovery of the stolen items are a great success,Ē Alternate Culture Minister Costas Tzavaras said in a statement Saturday.

Police said one of the suspects, a 41-year-old resident of Sepolia, western Athens, was arrested at a Patra hotel on Friday after trying to sell a Mycenaean-era gold ring to an undercover officer posing as a potential buyer. He had allegedly asked 1.5 million euros for the 3,000-year-old jewel before dropping the price to 300,000 euros.

Police also arrested two of his alleged accomplices, both Patra residents. The suspects revealed their cache in the nearby village of Koskina, where officers found the rest of the stolen items.

Police were searching for two more suspects in connection to the case.

In February, two masked men smashed display cabinets and took more than 60 objects after overpowering a museum guard.

A month earlier, three artworks, including a painting by Pablo Picasso and another by Piet Mondrian, were stolen from the National Gallery in Athens.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday November 24, 2012 (17:03)  
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