Merry Wanderer of the Night  + [TIME]

Heritage: Bulgaria cracks down on suspected artefact hunters
Police in Bulgaria’s northeastern Shumen Region have arrested four people suspected of illicit possession of and trading in archaeological artefacts.

Bulgaria cracks down on suspected artefact hunters
Part of a sarcophagus featuring the image of the Gorgon Medusa, the Greek mythology 
monster with female face and snakes instead of hair, is one of the impressive 
archaeological finds saved from the hands of treasure hunters by the 
Shumen Police [Credit: Bulgarian Ministry of Interior]

As BGNES news outlet reported on Tuesday, police have found 19 marble and stone slabs and sculptures as well as ancient coins and moulds for production of fake coins at the homes of the suspects.

Bulgaria cracks down on suspected artefact hunters
An ancient dedication altar with the images of a family and an inscription
 in Ancient Greek is among the impressive finds rescued from the hands 
of the treasure hunters in Bulgaria’s Shumen District 
[Credit: Bulgarian Ministry of Interior]

A Turkish national permanently residing in Bulgaria has been detained after ancient coins and a fragment of a stone statue were found at his home. Police suspect the artefacts were being prepared for sale in EU countries.

Bulgaria cracks down on suspected artefact hunters
A lion’s head, apparently a fragment from an ancient sculpture, 
is among the items seized by the police in Shumen 
[Credit: Bulgarian Ministry of Interior]

The marble and stone slabs and parts of statues were discovered at the home of a 56-year old Bulgarian national in Shumen.

Bulgaria cracks down on suspected artefact hunters
An ancient stone slab with images is among the items
 rescued from the treasure hunters in Shumen 
[Credit: Bulgarian Ministry of Interior]

Some 9,000 ancient coins, presumably dating back to the times of the Roman Empire, and moulds for casting fake coins were found at the home of a a 52-year old Bulgarian national in the nearby town of Novi Pazar, some 30 km from Shumen.

Bulgaria cracks down on suspected artefact hunters
Ancient figurines and other artifacts rescued by the Shumen Police 
[Credit: Bulgarian Ministry of Interior]

Antique metal artefacts and some 80 coins were found at the home of a third Bulgarian national in the village of Ivanovo.

Bulgaria cracks down on suspected artefact hunters
More than 9,000 ancient coins including forged ones were seized
 from the treasure hunters in the Shumen District 
[Credit: Bulgarian Ministry of Interior]

The three Bulgarians had been arrested on 11 March and charged with possession of unregistered cultural heritage items. They face prison terms of one to six years and fines in the range of BGN 1,000 to 20,000 if convicted.

Source: Novinite [March 24, 2015]