Column capital stolen from Ancient Olympia

The Culture Ministry yesterday ordered an investigation into the disappearance of a large fragment of a column from a basilica dating to the 6th century AD on the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia in the western Peloponnese. The ministry called for an urgent probe into the unusual theft after the guard at the site reported the disappearance of the column capital. A search of the open-air site did not turn up any clues as to how the perpetrators were able to remove the capital unnoticed. A ministry official announced the immediate suspension of the director of the 6th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Georgia Hatzi, and immediately dispatched to Ancient Olympia a senior official from the ministry’s General Directorate of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, Maria Vlazaki.