Istanbul: Turkish police seized 415 smuggled historical artefacts in the country’s biggest city of Istanbul, and detained six suspects, a local media report said.
Istanbul’s anti-smuggling units recently received a tip-off that many historical artefacts were illegally collected and would be sold to various museums, Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying on Monday.
Following the technical and physical follow-up and intelligence studies, the units have launched operations in four addresses across the city and detained the suspected smugglers, it said.
The seized artefacts included pieces of historical coins from the Ottoman, Seljuk, and Byzantine periods; and some bronze figures in various sizes, statuettes describing ancient sports activities such as wrestling and discus throwing.
Additionally, an eagle statue embroidered on a bull’s head symbolising Zeus, some bronze kitchen utensils, and several spearheads were also found during the searches conducted at the addresses. The news report noted that the seized artefacts will be delivered to museums in Istanbul.