Greece: 2 held for smuggling prehistoric statuette

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Associated Press

Posted on October 9, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 9 at 9:05 AM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek police say they have seized a statuette apparently made more than 7,000 years ago, and arrested two men who were allegedly trying to sell it for 3.5 million euros (US$4.7 million).

The suspected antiquities smugglers, both Greeks, were taken into custody in central Athens Tuesday, following a tip-off.

The intact female figure has its arms clasped at the chest, stands 30 centimeters (12 inches) high and is apparently made of marble.

A police statement Wednesday said a government archaeologist pronounced it a genuine work of the Middle Neolithic era — in Greece the period from 5800 to 5300 BC.

It is unclear where the statuette came from. Greece's strict cultural heritage laws deem all antiquities found in the country to be state property.

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