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Serbian Customs find 2,000 historic artefacts hidden in truck


A total of 2,113 artefacts that Serbian Customs described as having “great historical and archaeological value” were seized from a truck at the Srpska Crnja border crossing between Serbia and Romania on Tuesday.


Serbian Customs find 2,000 historic artefacts hidden in truck
Credit: Serbian Customs



Serbian Customs said that according to the goods listed in customs documentation the truck, which had Romanian licence plates and was being driven by a 46-year-old Serbian citizen, was transporting parquet from Ukraine to Serbia.


Serbian Customs find 2,000 historic artefacts hidden in truck
Credit: Serbian Customs

The driver, when asked what else he had in the truck, said that he was only carrying two bags of sweets and a couple of pots.


Serbian Customs find 2,000 historic artefacts hidden in truck
Credit: Serbian Customs



“During a detailed inspection of the vehicle, it was determined that the cab of the truck and the side tool box were full of undeclared antique items from various periods: the Bronze Age, the Byzantine period and the Middle Ages, but also items from the ancient Slavs and Celts,” a Customs statement said.


Serbian Customs find 2,000 historic artefacts hidden in truck
Credit: Serbian Customs

“Given the size and diversity of the collection, it is impossible to determine the value without an expert assessment, and all the items will be referred for analysis. It is evident, however, that they are of great historical and archaeological value,” it added.


Serbian Customs find 2,000 historic artefacts hidden in truck
Credit: Serbian Customs

After the artefacts were discovered, the driver told the customs officers that he agreed to transport them from Ukraine to Serbia for a small fee, and that he was told that someone would contact him after he arrived in the country.


Serbian Customs find 2,000 historic artefacts hidden in truck
Credit: Serbian Customs



The discovery came two weeks after the Serb member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency, Milorad Dodik, sparked controversy when he presented an ancient gilded Orthodox icon to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during his visit to the country on December 14.


Serbian Customs find 2,000 historic artefacts hidden in truck
Credit: Serbian Customs

Ukraine’s embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina complained that the 300-year-old icon was an “object of Ukrainian cultural heritage” that it believed could have been taken from a part of eastern Ukraine that is controlled by Russian-backed separatists.


On December 23, Russia handed back the icon to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s embassy in Moscow.


Author: Milica Stojanovic | Source: Balkan Insight [December 29, 2020]



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