Strapped for Cash, Some Greeks Turn to Ancient Source of Wealth

18 Aug 2015 7:31 AM | Anonymous

Strapped for Cash, Some Greeks Turn to Ancient Source of Wealth

Greece’s financial crisis is causing a spike in illegal excavations and swelling the ranks of looters with first-time offenders.

By Nick Romeo, National Geographic

PUBLISHED August 17, 2015

ATHENS—Recently police in Greece have noted a spike in a surprising kind of crime: People with no prior criminal record are looting Greek antiquities.

One sign of the problem: a sharp rise in applications for metal detector permits. Because metal detectors are used to find ancient coins and artifacts, the Greek government tracks purchases of the devices and typically grants use permits only to people without a criminal record. “The numbers have increased, and this is related to the economic crisis,” Lieutenant Monovasios said.


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