Antiquities theft in Greece documentary

tried to sell two kouroi from the 6th century B


Antiquities theft in Greece documentary


The Greek police have made a giant haul by arresting dealerswho tried to sell two Antiquities kouroi from the 6th century B

C for 10 million euros These two rare statues from the 6th century BC were found eight months ago by two farmers at Klenia in Corinth

The legs are broken but all the pieces are still there The head of one of the Antiquities statues is broken Good day I’m Tzeni Kordosi, the mayor of Klenia village If you like, I’ll show you around my village

There on the plainare the riches of Klenia Over there is where the ancient objects were found Come this way This area is called ‘Xerocampos’ or dry field

As you can see, Klenia’s riches are here: Apricot, olive and pear trees, vineyards and kiwi bushes Years ago it was called the ‘Dry Field’ You gave it as your daughter’s dowry Because it was only brush and stones The water that’s here now has changed it from a ‘Dry Field’ into a ‘Green Field’

And all the wealth is here This is also the area where the antiquities were found There somewhere They say this was the site of the ancient city of Tenea We believe Tenea was there, but the archaeologists thought otherwise

But now it’s been proved that ancient Tenea Antiquities really was here because we found the kouroi statues here What are they? – Oranges Do they sell well? – No, oranges don’t sell I took four crates to the supermarket

and got three euros for them These oranges In 1980, the lady next door got a million for them

In 1980, a million Can you imagine? I had apricot trees here When the prices fell, I planted orange trees here I got just as much for oranges as for apricots Whatever you plant, nothing sells

The apricots are selling just a bit better this year Last year we got 27 cents a kilo for apricots Has the price of apricots fallen? The price had fallen But this year the price has gone up How many drachmas is 40 cents? It works out at 120 drachmas

That’s a good price in drachmas But what’s left in euros? Almost nothing It’s not even enough to buy coffee or cigarettes Why are you talking about drachmas? That was money We bought something, we paid for it, and that’s just how it was

Do you miss the drachma? Yes, we shouldn’t have changed it I have to cry about the drachma Honestly If only they’d bring it back But after about 5-10 years it won’t happen anymore

But well, we’ll see What can you say? Eleni Where are you, damn it? Here What’s up? How much money do you earn? You can’t see over the top of it That’s what I said

We don’t earn a thing What money? We get nothing for our produce How can you earn money nowadays? It’s miserable We’re poverty-stricken now Our friend Papandreou was going to solve all our problems

All of them – The bastard, damn itcivil servants’ thirteenth and fourteenth monththe Christmas and Easter bonuses and the holiday pay of pensioners In the private sector, wages will be frozen We either go bankrupt, or we introduce measures, said the Prime Minister Good

we have to pay 10,000 in tax a year We just have to put up with it Now they’ll start cutting our pensions Will we get anything next month? I get 480 Less than Nikos

Although I paid contributions for longer She paid more – But I get less I’m getting it now Greece is going bankrupt I’ve had a pension since Christmas, and Nikos has had his for eight years

I didn’t get mine until later They should give me at least 700 euros For all the years I paid my contributions For all the years that I paid, I should get that And do you know what the work of a farmer and his wife entails? I’ve been working the land since I was twelve

And it’s hard work What can you say? The sea is salty The Greek government has now asked Nobel prize winner Joseph Stiglitzto help find a way out of the crisis Maria, a Heineken please

– And a Greek beer In the village, it was our luck or misfortunethat the antiquities were found here. Antiquities were found by a very nice, poor young man who, in my opinion, should not be called a thief

As far as I know, he found them a year ago When they were planting pumpkins The rain had exposed part of the statues When they started planting, they found more That is what I heard, I didn’t see it

That was the rumour going around That’s all I know about it And now they’re calling him a thief If he’d murdered someone or something All he did was find two kouroi How was he to know they were the Tenea kouroi? This one too? Yes, we’ll just wash them Guys, if you all help outwe’ll be finished sooner

What do you think about the Costas case? Costas? He’s a nice kid He’s lived in the village for years And now he happens to have become involved in this case He’s never been involved in this business before But now he found something on his land while ploughing

And because he didn’t report it, he’s been arrested He’d never been involved in anything like this before, if you ask me Costas is a farmer He has olive trees Not many

About three tons of olive trees And he grows apricots He doesn’t make a lot of money Money’s tight, because he also has a loan It’s hard

He’s had the loan for quite a whileto build his house His father had no money So he took out a loan for 15 million drachma He also has young children

He doesn’t even have a fence around his house He built his house as best he could His only income comes from the farm No wonder he can’t even afford a fence That’s why he took out a loan for the house

We suddenly received informationabout people hanging around suspiciously near Ayos Vasilios Just outside Corinth When that report came in, I still get goose bumps thinking about it When I heard that, it rang a bell

Because the police know which spots are of archaeological importance When we heard where it happened, we immediately said: This is an art theft And indeed we observed suspicious movementsnear Ayos Vasilios We followed a specific vehicle

Just an ordinary car, not a farm vehicle It got dark It was no coincidence that this car was being driven in strange places Not along main roads, but through the fields Or along almost inaccessible roads

They waited until it was dark Meanwhile, we knew that a sale would take place Imagine: a car in a desolate area in the dark, with its lights on Every light that approachesat 500 metres’ distance, and the deal’s called off

That’s when we decided we had to intervene Costas hurt his leg when he ran away He took off like a maniac He was really in shock, but the next day he turned himself in But the others weren’t caught

I don’t know what happened, it’s complicated We apprehended one, because we knew who he was He admitted lending his truck to do it The day after, we managed to apprehend a second man The third person involved managed to escape

But one of us recognised him We’ve known him for years We issued a warrant for his arrest Costas is the victim in this story He took the blame for someone else

He got into trouble for nothing They framed him, in my opinion What you see here, was an area under cultivation Corn and olives were grown here The owner was working on the land with his horse

and the horse fell in that grave with the stones that you can see We didn’t know what it was A year later people came here to excavateand they found amphorae in the ground That’s how they found the entrance to the tombs

That’s when the art looting started For us, it was a new phenomenon We didn’t understand it at all We didn’t even know the term: art looting We don’t know if they planned to smuggle or to get someone else to do it

To put it simply: The kouroi don’t talk But there are people who dolike the Pakistanis who come by boat from Turkey to Greeceand from Patras to Brindisi Good morning

Under Papandreou, the father I mean, we farmers had a good life With subsidies, then with this and that Sometimes they announced that we could collect our subsidy Then they announced that we had to do this or that Don’t say ‘ha ha’, we’re not donkeys! I can’t read or write, I’m illiterate

I can’t say if Papandreou is doing it right, or if his father did it right Andreas? The father? – Yes But I always had money in my pocket then, so he did things right Since Simitis, Greece has only got into debt Thanks to him we are now deeply in debt

I don’t know if Papandreou did good or bad, but I had a good life then In the past, in my father’s day, things were simpler But terrible mistakes were made then, and we’re paying for them now That’s when they started withdrawing apricots It was criminal

Money was literally being thrown away Because the products were being thrown away The European system said: A product that comes onto the market but isn’t soldmust be destroyed We’re paying for that

The Greek system meant this product was never tradedas the price was never high enough It went straight from the tree into the river Literally into the river They taught us, me too, when I was young

not to grow for the market, but to throw produce away It was criminal Terrible And so we lost the market to other countriesbecause our apricots weren’t sold anymore

Here in Klenia we just threw three, four million kilos into the riverand not one kilo was exported abroad Because of withdrawal subsidies, the price was about 50 drachmasthe market couldn’t pay that price, they only paid 40 drachmasso it was cheaper to throw them away

That came back to us like a boomerang Prices fell and we lost our market That’s when everyone started neglecting their trees They only wanted to produce as many kilos as possible They couldn’t care less about the quality of the apricots

That was the criminal aspect of the farming subsidy Costas, shouldn’t he have given them to the state? Perhaps you should, but if you’re very pooryou’re attracted by money And if you’re flat brokeand you think this could be a way out of your problems

It’s not easy being poor Well, as an outsider it’s easy to talk But it’s different when you’re holding it

Personally, I don’t know how I’d react Or what I’d do On the one hand, you’d like to keep these things for your village because they are our cultural heritage But on the other hand if you’re very poor

We’re all tempted by money We interrupt this programme because of new developments in Athens The reports aren’t good, three people have died

Three bank employees have died in a firewhich broke out at the bank We’re in a pressure cooker If it boils over, we’ll all go with it Everyone’s gone mad

Supposing I have a family, my child is unemployed and my salary’s falling My wife also brings in some money All those things together At some stage, there will be a revolution And so will I

As my house is on fire too Because I can no longer meet my obligations Wages and pensions have been frozen in Greece beforebut there have never been cut backs Now they are asking just your ordinary tax payer

the ordinary worker or pensioner To foot the bill – To pay it

And why? Because others have had more than their share? They earn money like water One minister has 50 houses, the other 50 ships But do you think they ever pay for anything? Has a minister ever sent a corrupt colleague to jail? No Whether he’s a director, minister or some other big cheese It’s one big injustice

And no one is ever punished On the market you already see womenwho buy just three tomatoes For a Antiquities Greek that’s terrible As with some produce it was always: Give me three, four kilos

And if I don’t eat it, I’ll make juice from it For people in Europe this may be normal But it was never like that with us You only see that happening now And that makes a huge impact

We’re prepared for the worst If it gets to the stage that there’s no money left for food and we have to go from two meals to just one then we’re not talking about a financial crisis, but about a war zone Here is footage of a blockade of the Antiquities Acropolis by the Workers Battle Front

Banners say: Citizens of Europe, rise up! Imagine 25,000 people If it turns violent, people will get killed Gee How can they stand it? Just look at that

It’s completely black from the smoke How awful As if they can do anything about it Now the policeman has been injured too So who is to blame? It’s all the government’s fault

It has plunged the country into misery I tell you, a big financial and economic crisis is coming It will be worse than World War II Then it’s over The biggest parasites are the politicians

Thieves Muggers Con men And man in the street can’t do a thing – All the misery in Greece

is caused by politicians They’re wolves It’s our own fault too – The politicians are to blame What do you mean: our fault? – Because of what we do every day

It is our fault because we voted for those con men The biggest art looter was Mitsotakis Was Costas wrong to do what he did? The guy did the right thing If he’d gone to the policedo you know what he’d have got? A thousand, two thousand euros

Isn’t there an arrangement if you go to the Ministry of Culture? You don’t go there and say: I’ve found something which I’d like to hand in Then there must be a reward – You risk becoming a suspect For a plate, you get five hundred to a thousand euros But you may get more for it through other means

But now he hasn’t had a cent He has to slave away for his money None of us has a cent – He was just a day labourerwith a child with health problems, and then all those loans

Perhaps someone said: Just sell them He did the right thing If he’d taken them to the police If he’d have known he’d get a thousand, two thousand euros for them That is just 120 kilos of wood Then they will ask you: What else do you keep? Costas will always be the village hero

He is not a criminal It just came across his path Other people have sold statues abroad But these Antiquities statues have stayed in Greece May I say something? In every house in the village you can find a kouros

Everywhere you look every house has at least two or three In fifty years, Costas, it will all be history darkness falls and night begins darkness falls and night begins today is over too and the strangers will go home again they will go to their houses the strangers will return to their houses

Source: Youtube

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