Italy to send back stolen antique coins confiscated in Verona
15:46 Fri 09 Jan 2009 – Svetlana Guineva
Bulgaria will receive back from Italy close to 3800 antique coins and other archaeological objects, smuggled into the country in 2005, Bozhidar Dimitrov, director of the National History Museum said, quoted by Bulgarian language Sega daily on January 9 2009.
The significant part of the valuables consists of silver and bronze Roman and Byzantine coins, which experts have valued at around 35000 euro, Sega daily said.
Four Bulgarians have been detained in Verona, Italy, for trying to sell the objects. They have been deported to Bulgaria and will be tried in accordance with local legislature.
Dimitrov has said that the authorities suspect that the coins could have been smuggled out of the country by the same criminal group that committed the robbery at the Veliko Turnovo museum in February 2006.
At that time more than 10 000 golden, silver and bronze coins were stolen from the museum’s numismatic fund. Among them were valuable coins dating back to the time of Alexander the Great. At the time police said that the robbery had been very well planned and that an insider might have helped.