Istanbul police on Dec. 21 seized 26,456 ancient artifacts and detained 13 suspects as part of an operation considered the biggest in Turkish history in Istanbul.Once again, the Turkish authorities demonstrate their attention to the problem of antiquities smuggling. Good for them.
Among the items recovered were a golden queen's crown with an inscription of the Hellenistic god, Helios, a bust dedicated to Alexander the Great's conquest of India and a statue of a goddess dating back to the Hittite era 3,000 years ago.
The 26,456 objects recovered also included Egyptian-origin statues and Phoenician-type teardrop vials.
There is no mention of Torah manuscripts or metal codices in this haul and I don't see any sign of either in the photograph. This group of detainees may not be the same as the one(s) who were dealing in such dubious artifacts. But it sounds worthwhile to keep an eye on the story just to see what else comes up as the seized artifacts are examined.
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