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Moldovan police on hunt for owner of rare coins collection

March 26, 2014, 21:01 UTC+3 CHISINAU

Collection includes over 700 coins, as well as fragments of sculptures dating from sixth-second centuries BC

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CHISINAU, March 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Law enforcement bodies of Moldova are after the owner of a collection of ancient coins valued over one million dollars. Customs officials discovered coins in a regular bus that arrived from Turkey.

The collection includes over 700 coins, as well as fragments of sculptures dating from the sixth-second centuries BC, Anna Boldurianou, spokesperson at the National Museum of History of Moldova, told reporters on Wednesday.

“The collection includes silver coins minted in the times of Alexander the Great, as well as coins from Ancient Greece and Rome highly valued by coin collectors. Statuettes from Mesopotamia belonging to Sumerian culture and fragments of sculptures fetch up to 500,000 dollars each at auctions. Similar samples can be seen only in the Louvre and in museums of the Vatican and St. Petersburg,” the expert said.

She said that unless the owner of the collection materializes the entire collection would be turned over to the museum which, she said, would be “a great luck.”

“Customs officials believe the collection was transported via Moldova for sale in some other country. The bus drivers have been arrested and, under Moldovan laws, face up to ten years in jail.

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