Friday, November 27, 2015

Antiquities dealer charged with looting thousands of coins

ARREST: Cops bust antiquities dealer with over 3,000 ancient coins. Suspect admits to illegal sale and export of artifacts he illicitly collected in fields near Beit She’an (Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel).
Police and Israel Antiquities Authority agents on Tuesday arrested an art dealer from northern Israel after finding him with over 3,000 illegally obtained ancient coins — valued in the tens of thousands of dollars.

The suspect, a resident of Kibbutz Beit Hashita and a licensed antiquities dealer, was charged with attempting to sell the objects he illegally acquired to buyers abroad, and to do so without an export permit. The IAA said in a statement on Thursday that investigators found over 3,000 coins — some over 2,000 years old — and lead and ceramic objects in the man’s home.


Most of the coins in the man’s collection dated from the Byzantine period, but the trove included rarer items from the Second Jewish Revolt against Rome — the Bar Kochba Revolt of 132-135 CE — and Roman coins celebrating the crushing of the Jewish Revolt in 70 CE bearing the words “Judaea Capta” — Judea Conquered. Other coins were from the later Muslim era.