Five rare silver coins dating to the 5th and 4th centuries BC, which were scheduled to be auctioned off in Munich and Zurich, were returned to Greece, the Culture Ministry said on Monday.
Three of them, which had been taken out of Greece illegally, were repatriated on September 30 from Munich. According to the ministry, they were a stater from Lindos (Rhodes) from the first half of the 5th century BC, an octadrachm of Getas (the king of Edonians in Thrace), dating to around 480-460 BC, and a stater from Elis dating to around 328 BC.
These coins were handed over to the Greek general consulate in Munich by the Bavarian police and are now in the care of the Numismatics Museum of Athens, which helped identify them.
Another two silver coins were returned from Zurich to Athens on September 27. They were an Athenian tetradrachm, dating to 136 BC, and a tetradrachm of Ptolemy IV Philopator cut in Sidon around the end of the 3rd century BC. Both coins are at the Archaeological Museum of Patras, the ministry said.
According to the ministry, this case is linked to the dismantling of a criminal gang in the city of Patras in October 2016. The criminals involved in the ring were based in Greece but had an extensive network abroad, where they transferred looted antiquities.