Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Bulgarian Antiquities and Coins to be Returned from Canada

In August 2010 it was reported that a large group of antiquities and coins had been seized in Canada ("Bulgaria's Culture Minister Demands Archaeology Items from Canada", (Sofia) August 5, 2010).
On Thursday, the Exterior Ministry announced that customs officers from the Canadian city of Montreal have seized 21 000 antique objects with Bulgarian origins in a smuggling attempt. ...

The antiques consist of coins, jewels, metal and glass objects from the Bulgarian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman heritage.
The Bulgarian press has now announced that the objects will be returning to Canada ("Canada to return smuggled archaeological finds to Bulgaria", June 8, 2011).
About 21 000 smuggled archaeological objects and ancient coins will be returned to Bulgaria by the Canadian department for cultural heritage, Focus news agency reported on June 8 2011.
Given recent concerns about the scale of looting in Bulgaria this is an important move on the part of Canadian authorities. It will be interesting to see if the coin dealer / importer concerned is named at the official handover later this week.

In November 2010 Bulgarian authorities stopped the sale of Bulgarian coins through a London dealer.

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