NEWS

Big reward for honest goatherd

A Kalymnos goatherd’s family and three of his neighbors are to share a 100-million-drachma (294,000-euro) reward for turning in over three dozen ancient works of sculpture found in a local field, following a decision late on Tuesday by the Culture Ministry. Michalis Halkitis discovered 37 marble statues and fragments of statues last March while digging a cistern in his fields near the early Christian basilica of the Jerusalem Christ. «I found the first statue and went on digging, finding more,» he told the ministry’s Central Archaeological Council. «But seeing that there was no end to them, I contacted the archaeological service.» The council set a value of 398 million drachmas (1.17 million euros) on the group, most of which were made between the 3rd and 1st centuries BC. Archaeologists believe the statues were connected with a nearby temple of Apollo, and may have been buried at the time of the islanders’ conversion to Christianity. «This death is a tragedy and our hearts go with his family,» Cmdr. Hal Pittman, spokesman for the US Atlantic Fleet’s Naval Air Force, said in a statement.