Artifact police go to London

A delegation of officers from the Attica Police’s illegal antiquities’ department was sent to London yesterday in a bid to stop illicit traders from selling «laundered» Greek artifacts at auction houses in the British capital, sources told Kathimerini yesterday. Greek police will also have talks with British officers, auction house officials and collectors with the aim of learning more about a huge cache of illegal antiquities discovered in a villa on the Aegean island of Schinoussa last month. According to the same sources, the seizures from the Schinoussa villa and another villa on nearby Paros may have alarmed illegal antiquities traders who – fearing a police crackdown around Europe – might accelerate attempts to «legalize» their booty. The «laundering» of illegal antiquities generally involves either a third party registering artifacts as objects they inherited or an antiquities dealer declaring the purchase of the items from an anonymous private collector. From then on, it is virtually impossible for police to trace the items.

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