Greek man 'hoarded thousand coins of historical significance'

An elderly Greek man was arrested for illegally obtaining a host of antiquities including more than a thousand coins of historical significance, police said on Monday.

Thessaloniki: An elderly Greek man was arrested for illegally obtaining a host of antiquities including more than a thousand coins of historical significance, police said on Monday.

Inside the 72-year-old man's house in Alexandria, a village in northern Greece, police found 1,061 copper coins, a thousand of which date from the Hellenistic period (third to first century BC), the Byzantine period (330-1453) and the Ottoman Empire.

Police said they were seized yesterday, as well as 30 silver coins of the same periods, 16 copper rings and other jewellery of the Byzantine and post-Byzantine era.

The antiquities were examined by archaeologists who concluded that they are subject to the law protecting antiquities and the cultural heritage of Greece.

An arsenal of 16 revolvers and rifles was also found as well as numerous metal detectors.

The man has been charged in the past for illicit antiquities trafficking, authorities said.

Antiquity smuggling is a common problem in Greece and Greek police have made dozens of arrests in recent years.  

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