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Stolen artefacts returned to Spain by British collector and philanthropist
05 December 2019 @ 23:17

Seven Celtiberian bronze helmets, stolen from the town of Aranda de Moncayo (Zaragoza) in the 1980s, were returned this Wednesday in excellent condition to Spain by their current owner in an official ceremony at the Unesco headquarters in Paris.

The pieces, dating from between the 6th and 3rd centuries B.C., come from the Celtiberian city of Arátikos, built during the Iron Age and destroyed by the Roman army in the 70's BC.

In the next few days they will travel to Spain to join a permanent collection at the Zaragoza Museum, where they will be studied by archaelogists before being put on public display.

The handover of this small collection brings a happy ending to a sorry story after two inhabitants of Aranda del Moncayo, Ricardo Bienvenido Granada and Mariano Florentino Ostale, were  last year found guilty by the Provincial Court of Zaragoza of having looted more than 5,000 celtiberian artifacts from Zaragoza and Soria over the past twenty years.

The helmets' current owner, Briton Christian Levett, a philanthropist, collector and creator of the Museum of Classical Art of Mougins (MACM), near Nice, personally delivered them to the Director General of Fine Arts of the Ministry of Culture, Román Fernández-Baca .

"The city and necropolis of Arátikos was subject to a slow, systematic and constant plundering that lasted for decades and that could unfortunately not be prevented at the time, despite the numerous warning flags raised," said Fernández-Baca.



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