Oldest, biggest and rarest items often secure top dollar on antiquities market

Rarity, age and size determine how much money an artifact will fetch on the market. A relic from the Roman era will get about 15,000 euros, an 8-drachma coin from the ancient city of Abdera in Thrace will secure 14,000 euros, and a bronze, life-sized sculpture from 500 BC will bring in a whopping 7 million euros. The candidates lined up to buy a marble lion discovered three years ago on Crete were prepared to pay up to 500,000 euros. If an object from Roman times costs 100 euros, a similar object from the Classical Greek era will fetch eight times as much. Antiquities smugglers especially favor Cycladic works, which bring in the most money.

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