Classical Numismatics Discussion
  Welcome Guest. Please login or register. Please look at the RECENT ADDITIONS and PRICE REDUCTIONS at the top and bottom of the page. All items are guaranteed authentic for eternity! Thanks for supporting Forum with your PURCHASES! Welcome Guest. Please login or register. Point your mouse to a coin in RECENT ADDITIONS or PRICE REDUCTIONS on this page to see the the price. All items are guaranteed authentic for eternity! Thanks for supporting Forum with your PURCHASES!


FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Ancient Coin Forum (Moderator: goldenancients)  |  Topic: Massive Numismatic Robbery 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: [1] 2  All Go Down Print
Author Topic: Massive Numismatic Robbery  (Read 5990 times)
GMoneti
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 172



« on: February 03, 2006, 07:17:19 pm »

The Tarnovo Museum of Archaeology in Bulgaria was robbed a couple of days ago.  It is really terrible news.  The thiefs had focused mainly on coins, from which there were plenty of there.  Here is an article from a Bulgarian Newspaper: 

Daring Robbery Stuns Tarnovo
The theft has been commissioned by collectors, policemen say


"The culprits of the robbery in the Tarnovo Museum of Archaeology will never be found, because obviously a lot of people have been involved in it," say numismatists who frequent the regular auctions held at the Poltava complex. According to them, the elimination of the alarm systems and the breaking of the doors' locks wouldn't have been possible without the participation of a museum's employee.
The numismatists are explicit that up to two hours after the robbery the finds possibly left the country, because most probably they had been commissioned by a certain client.
The price of the stolen items amounts to 5 million levs (1 euro = 2 levs,) estimated the investigators of the case. The theft was established on February 2 at 10 a.m. when one of the curators entered the safety vault to add new items.
Among the missing finds are 385 coins and pieces of jewelry from the Arbanassy Fund of the museum dating back to the 17th century. The coins are made of gold, silver and bronze and the jewelery - earrings, bracelets, etc. - are made of glass, bones and nacre. The thieves were obviously especially interested in gold coins of ancient origin.
Some 70 tetradrachmas from the time of Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great found during the excavations near the village of Samovodene are also among the stolen items. The thieves have taken bronze ancient coins found near Nicopolis-ad-Istrum and the villages of Kamen, Dimcha and Dolna Oryahovitsa.
A donation from a famous banker consisting of 100 coins, one of which is unique and really priceless (nobody dares to estimate its value), is among the missing treasures. [/i]

The Bulgarian version is a bit longer and mentions that 4000 denarii were also stolen among other things.  The museum has digital images of its collection, which it has given to the police. It is very sad, because most likely none of these coins will ever be back in the museum.  Still, I hope some of these images will be published soon, as some of these coins are going to come to the world market for sure.  Happy news for those who don't care, I guess...

Georgi
Logged

Georgi
Corduba
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 272



« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2006, 02:39:08 am »

This is a very sad new. I hope that we can see coins images very soon and they don´t go to the market. Of course i hope the police catch the thieves soon and if there is somobody behind they catch too.

Ignacio.







Logged

Joe Sermarini
Owner, President
FORVM STAFF
Caesar
*****
Online Online

Posts: 8024


All Coins Guaranteed for Eternity.


WWW
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2006, 08:27:58 am »

I believe pubishing the digital images in FORVM's lost and stolen coins gallery would make sale on eBay or other sale on the internet impossible.  Request our Bulgarian members contact the museum and make this suggestion. 
Logged

Joseph Sermarini
Owner, President
FORVM ANCIENT COINS
GMoneti
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 172



« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2006, 02:08:14 pm »

Joe,

That could be helpful.  I can't find the museum's info online, but I'll call Bulgaria to see if I can get to them. 

Georgi
Logged

Georgi
basemetal
Guest
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2006, 09:07:40 pm »

Anyone who purchases said coins....which is what will happen eventually....they will be offered for sale...  and found out should be reported to authorities by this forum or others..banned of course and those who justify buying of same....should be treated as above. They will show up. Do not let your greed get the better of your morals.  Sounds silly in this modern age I know...but the concept of honor still exists...for some.
Logged
basemetal
Guest
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2006, 09:12:11 pm »

You all are way ahead of me I know, but contacting the head of Ebay...hell...he sends me emails twice a week about how great Ebay is.....might help.
Logged
virtvsprobi
Guest
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2006, 08:22:25 pm »

contacting the head of Ebay...

You'd just get a letter to the effect of "thank you very much for your concerns." Then they'd do the usual... which is... nothing.

Remember the eBay mantra - "We are just a venue.". Grin

hell...he sends me emails twice a week

And you don't have that blocked in your spam filter? (Shakes head)

G/<
Logged
vozmozhno
Guest
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2006, 08:36:14 pm »

I honestly have no idea why any true collector would want these coins. To me, the most enjoyable aspect of collecting is to learn as much as possible and share the information with others, including making the photos and attributions available to the public on my website. If I had a collection full of priceless stolen museum worthy pieces but had to keep it hidden for fear of being exposed, it would give me no satisfaction whatsoever.

Voz
Logged
virtvsprobi
Guest
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2006, 09:14:08 pm »

I honestly have no idea why any true collector would want these coins.

Well, there ARE people who rather get off on having something just for themselves.

Within the scope of my own bailiwick I know of one individual who has denied access to his collection and delighted in the fact that the numismatist who wanted to study it was quite frustrated by this. This person had many important rarities and they probably were never included in the corpus if there were no specimens in other collections.

If the theft was indeed commissioned by "collectors" of this type, these coins may not come to the market at all (at least not for a long time). A sad day for all, and this will further strain the already fragile relations between collectors and those in the scientific community who are against private ownership.

G/<

P.S. I suppose these people would not be "true collectors" as we understand the term. They'd better described as "have-to-have-it-ists". Wink
Logged
basemetal
Guest
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2006, 10:49:13 pm »

Just like in the art world...some warped individuals want to not collect but "get" rare pieces so they can go into their air conditined basements and sit by themselves and "enjoy" their stolen rare pieces.
When I get a coin that I think is rare ....hell, I'm the first to make a fool of myself posting it on this board only to have someone say.."Not bad....fairly common..but a good example" it hurts me not at all.
I learn from it and it in no way detracts from my appreciatin that I got that coin. And most of all any coin I get I want to share..... from the most common Valens to ....you name it.
The ahem...folks that buy these stolen treasures that  everyone should be able to see...are...well..I bet they have other personal unsavory habits.
Logged
GMoneti
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 172



« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2006, 12:42:28 am »


If the theft was indeed commissioned by "collectors" of this type, these coins may not come to the market at all (at least not for a long time).   

I agree with you that we won't be seeing any of the exceptionally rare missing coins listed on eBay.  Rather, they will be sold through other channels.  However, I think that the majority of the stolen coins are not of such rarity (4000 denarii etc.), and will eventually appear for more general sale.  The difficult part is getting the pictures (at least some) from the museum, but I will see if something can be done about this.

Georgi
Logged

Georgi
basemetal
Guest
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2006, 08:00:46 pm »

This is not an apologia but it is comforting to know that whoever stole them and whoever eventually gets them, given time enough, they will resurface.  Perhaps long after our time but short of outright pathological destruction of the stolen items, they will resurface eventually.  That perverted individual that bought them will eventually die.  Given the way of the world his offspring, associates, and even his lawyers, will eventually sell them.  They will be seen again.
I do however hope they (the thieves stealers, the thieves buyers, and the acessories (people who know and don't tell, ect) might one day face a judge that indentifies this thing for what it is-looting.
In most enlightened  cultures throughout the world, looting is a capital crime. One which in times of crisis is punished by summary execution. In times of peace, by looooong prison sentences. 
"Yo-holms, what 'cha in for?"
"Well,  large intimidating person I was a part a cartel that helped sell and distribute stolen ancient coins"
"Got any smokes?"
"Ah no sir, I don't smoke and I'm a vegeterian as well. I believe the body to be a temple."
I'll let your fertile imagination fill in the blanks in this continuing conversation.
I only wish.

Logged
esnible
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 814



WWW
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2006, 09:47:34 am »

I recently read The Rescue Artist by Edward Dolnick.  It is about the theft of The Scream from a museum in Norway and about art theft in general.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?isbn=0060531177

The author and the art theft experts in the book claim that art is never stolen on commission from rich clients.

It seems that thieves steal things that are valuable and easy to steal.  They don't think about selling them until later.  The paintings discussed in the book were so famous that no one could display them in his home and expect to get away with it, so they ended up being used as collateral in drug smuggling.

These coins might be sellable, if the theives manage to sell them before photos start circulating on the Internet.  GMoneti, did you ever get a list or photos of the stolen coins?  We should circulate the images.

The museum's web site, [ http://www.jicabg.com/museum/velikotarnovo-e.html ], gives an email address of rimvt@yahoo.com but does not mention the theft at all.
Logged
GMoneti
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 172



« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2006, 07:16:12 pm »

I e-mailed the museum at that address a long time ago, offering to do just that if they can provide pictures or point me to a source.  I got no reply from them.   I asked someone in Bulgaria whom I know if they can get more info about it, since they know a person working in a different museum.  I haven't given up, but the whole issue seems to get covered up already...no news about it or detailed info about what's missing. 

There is definitely something shady going on in the museum.  The director of the museum, Hristo Haritonov (author of several numismatic books) was being blamed for the robbery since he was supposedly the only person who knew the code to the vault, and the security company said their system was not breached.   Whether he had to do anything with it or was a scapegoat is not clear.  What is really bad is that responsibility is being exchanged like a hot potato and at the end nobody (or the wrong person) will be held accountable, and the treasures lost forever.  What was really funny was that the security company said they did not know they are securing a building that contained something valuable.   Grin  In any case, if there are any other Bulgarians on this forum, who live in Bulgaria (or anyone else), please try to find more about it.  Hopefuly we will get some pictures at least before it's too late.

Regarding the theory that such robberies are not commissioned by rich cients, I am not so sure about that.  I agree that very famous stolen objects can't be displayed freely, but some people like to keep them in their secure places and enjoy them by themselves, without showing them to anyone.  It's almost like a mental problem or some other sort of issue they have (or is it too much money to spend?).
Logged

Georgi
slokind
Tribuna Plebis Perpetua
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6760


Art is an experimental science


WWW
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2006, 11:02:16 pm »

From what I know, concerning a theft that actually got solved, and the objects recovered (not coins), the police, including Interpol, will ask them to lie low and not respond to our requests, however in this case well meant.
I remember, though, in the Post War period how UNESCO made subventions for the publication of, e.g., the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, and many fascicules were published.  This is one thing that the UN certainly can do and ought to do.   A few dozen SNG fascicules are very valuable when things like this happen.  For that matter, when I think of our Library of Congress putting all the FSA photos and all their daguerreotypes on line (what are federal governments for if not to run great big servers?) or the National Gallery of Art putting so many images from their collections on line, in high quality, too, and what the Fitzwilliam has done, I should like to suggest that a committee of the United Nations once again should help underfunded museums and underpaid scholars to put SNG on line and all on UN servers.  All those Bulgarian museums, yes, but why not start with Romania?  With collections as unpublished today as they were in Pick's time.  Why not Turkey?  It would be the best possible protection for these national collections.  Certainly UNESCO would need to ballyhoo it, just as they did the Post War subventions including coffee-table portfolios of Ajanta and of Egyptian painting.
It usually is collections that are well published that get recovered.  And these regional museums are largely depositories of hoards that need to be preserved for study.
Pat L.
Logged
gang-warily
Praetorian
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 22



« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2006, 03:50:00 pm »

One possible scenario here is that the thieves (or the handlers) will have the coins melted down.  That would be the biggest tradgedy of all.
Logged

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying." --- Woody Allen
GMoneti
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 172



« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2006, 11:21:42 pm »

One possible scenario here is that the thieves (or the handlers) will have the coins melted down.  That would be the biggest tradgedy of all.

Well, then they'll be the silliest thieves of all time.  The value of the metal as bullion is insignificant compared to numismatic value.
Logged

Georgi
*Alex
Procurator Caesaris
Quaestor
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1707


Etiam Iuppiter non omnibus placet.


« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2006, 04:47:30 am »

One possible scenario here is that the thieves (or the handlers) will have the coins melted down. 

Unfortunately that is exactly what happened to some of the "Arras" hoard (of which the famous Constantius I London medallion was a part) after it's discovery.  Cry

Alex.
Logged

curtislclay
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 10226



« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2006, 07:38:11 am »

The melting down of the Arras hoard is a myth, perpetrated by the finders to distract attention from the actual coins which they were secreting in order to sell them later when the coast seemed clear.  See Bastien's monograph on the hoard.
Logged

Curtis Clay
*Alex
Procurator Caesaris
Quaestor
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1707


Etiam Iuppiter non omnibus placet.


« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2006, 08:18:37 am »

Thank you Curtis. I am very pleased that the story is not true.

Alex.
Logged

esnible
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 814



WWW
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2006, 08:22:14 am »

There is nothing about the Tarnovo Museum coin theft on Interpol's web site.

http://www.interpol.int/Public/WorkOfArt/Default.asp

Interpol's web site is updated frequently (they added, last night, news of Friday's museum theft in Brasil -- thieves got a Dali, a Matisse, a Picasso, and a Monet).

I looked for ancient coins on Interpol's list of the 300 most recent art thefts and found six coins:

http://www.interpol.int/public/Data/WorkOfArt/Items/Data/1039/1039321.asp
http://www.interpol.int/public/Data/WorkOfArt/Items/Data/1039/1039323.asp
http://www.interpol.int/public/Data/WorkOfArt/Items/Data/1039/1039322.asp
http://www.interpol.int/public/Data/WorkOfArt/Items/Data/1039/1039326.asp
http://www.interpol.int/public/Data/WorkOfArt/Items/Data/1039/1039325.asp
http://www.interpol.int/public/Data/WorkOfArt/Items/Data/1039/1039324.asp
Logged
GMoneti
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 172



« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2006, 06:50:31 pm »

Ok, I finally got a picture of two of the 12, 000 (latest data) stolen coins.  11, 998 to go.  tongue It is from an online version of a Bulgarian newspaper which says that for right now pictures of the stolen coins are only available in catalogs.  I'll try to contact the paper to see if they have access to more pictures.  For now this is it-two Alexander staters from... Kallatis? Someone please identify and date these acurately, and I will post them in the stolen coins section.  Thanks.
Logged

Georgi
esnible
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 814



WWW
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2006, 08:38:56 am »

This report, in Italian, says the theft happened between January 6th and February 1st.

http://www.ansa.it/balcani/bulgaria/20060207182833816969.html

This report contradicts Bulgarian reports which reported the theft as Feb 2nd.

The number of stolen coins is given as 11,169, plus 60 pieces of ancient jewelry.
Logged
basemetal
Guest
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2006, 09:16:13 pm »

If you buy one of these (unlikely on this forum) you are first; an accessory to a crime,
Second;
a Felon,
Third
a looter (in times of civil strife looters are killed without benefit of trial, in times of peace they are put under the jail.
Fourth;
In the same class as the crappy ah...folks who sell counterfeits
Fifth;
Doing unimaginable damage to the honor and prestege of honest coin collectors who never buy suspicous coins.
But sadly, people will still buy them.
 
Logged
esnible
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 814



WWW
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2006, 07:16:17 pm »

"Sofia Tightens Measures to Preserve Historical Treasures"

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=60530
Logged
Pages: [1] 2  All Go Up Print 
FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Ancient Coin Forum (Moderator: goldenancients)  |  Topic: Massive Numismatic Robbery « previous next »
Jump to:  

Recent Price Reductions in Forum's Shop


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 4.213 seconds with 71 queries.