Police arrest man found with 2000-year-old Aphrodite statue


Aphrodite Santorini

Police have arrested a 46-year-old Greek man in the seaside town of Loutraki with a 2,000-year-old statue of the ancient Greek goddess of love Aphrodite, one of a batch of antiquities stolen from a museum storeroom on the island of Santorini.

The 80-centimeter marble work was found in the trunk of his car, together with two more ancient stone artifacts believed to have been illegally excavated, in a car stopped in a parking spot in Loutraki.

Police said the man was allegedly seeking to sell the three pieces for a total €350,000. Another two Greek men have been identified as suspected accomplices, a police statement said, adding that the crackdown followed a tipoff.

According to Wednesday's statement, the director of the Santorini museum confirmed that the Aphrodite statue, which dates to the 2nd or 1st centuries BC, was stolen from the storeroom.

Earlier this year, a watchman at the Santorini museum and another suspect were arrested for allegedly stealing antiquities from the storage area, and about 20 pottery and stone artifacts — many dating to the 17th century BC — were recovered.