French man examines more than 27,400 items of archaeological hooves

written by Jack guyPierre Barin, CNN

French authorities are investigating a man who allegedly found 27,400 archaeological artifacts – including more than 14,000 Roman coins.
In September 2019, a French citizen said he had discovered 14,154 coins on land he owned in Belgium, but Belgian authorities questioned the man’s story, according to a press release from French customs officials published on Wednesday and Contacted their French counterparts.

If the person, whose name has not been issued by the authorities, coins were found in Belgium, they would have the right to keep them, but the archaeological objects found in France are the property of the state.

Authorities searched two properties in eastern France, a French customs spokesman told CNN.

The haul consisted of pieces of sculptures. Credit: Jean-Christophe Verghen / AFP / AFP via Getty Image

The man admitted that the Roman coins were indeed found on French soil, customs agent Florent Norian said in a video released by the customs agency.

In addition to Roman coins, officials found more than 13,000 other archaeological artifacts of “exceptional quality”, according to the press release.

Included were bracelets and necklaces made during the Bronze and Iron Age, Roman and Gallic coins, and a Roman dodecahedron, of which only 100 are known examples.

Other items included pieces of sculptures from various historical eras as well as belt buckles.

The seizure is one of the greatest recoveries of looted artifacts in French history.

The seizure is one of the greatest recoveries of looted artifacts in French history. Credit: JEAN CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN / AFP / GETTY IMAGE

The press release stated that authorities seized a total of 27,400 items of “lowest value” in one of the largest recoveries of looted artifacts in French history.

The customs agency has concluded its investigation and will pass the file on public prosecutors in the next few days, a spokeswoman for the agency told CNN on Thursday.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Mayer welcomed “exemplary cooperation” between French and Belgian authorities.

“This allowed a priceless archaeological treasure to be seized. The culprit is liable to imprisonment of hundreds of euros in customs,” he said.

“This is a clear message addressed to those who, for the benefit and selfish pleasure of a few, deprive us of our common heritage and wipe out all sections of our history.”

French Culture Minister Rosaline Bechelot-Narquin emphasized “the importance of European cooperation in the face of criminal activities that do not know the boundaries.”


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