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Three arrested for Viking treasure theft

Paul O'Mahony · 6 Nov 2009, 15:24

Published: 06 Nov 2009 15:24 GMT+01:00

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The three men, 38, 44 and 45, all live on the mainland, though two also own homes on Gotland.

One of the men, a 44-year-old from Stockholm, is employed by an auction house specializing in the sale of old coins.

The two men in their forties are suspected of aggravated cultural heritage offfences, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of four years in jail. The 44-year old and 45-year-old are also both suspected of aggravated preparation to commit a cultural heritage offence.

The 38-year-old is accused of the lesser crime of preparation to commit a cultural heritage offence.

The men were arrested on Tuesday afternoon. A remand hearing on Friday afternoon is to be followed later in the day by a police press conference.

The Local reported on Monday that some five hundred silver artifacts had been looted from a site of archaeological interest on the Baltic island.

Two archaeologists employed by Gotland county discovered that the valuables had vanished when they arrived at a field in Alva in Gotland to follow up on a recent find.

The methodical thieves dug some 250 holes in a bid to secure as much booty as possible. Majvor Östergren at the Gotland County Administrative Board estimated that the impostors had made off with 500 silver pieces worth a combined total of 250,000 to 500,000 kronor ($35,000 to $70,000).

Story continues below…

The last time someone was been convicted of cultural heritage offences on Gotland was back in 1991. Two German geologists with metal detectors were each sentenced to three months in prison when they tried to make off with a number of artifacts, Sveriges Radio reports.

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.com)

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Your comments about this article

16:08 November 6, 2009 by Nemesis
I hope they go to jail.

I hope every asset they have is siezed.

Every deal they have done in that auction house needs to eb examined very closely.
16:46 November 6, 2009 by karex
Well, that was surprisingly fast. I also hope they go to prison.

Even if the artefacts are recovered they created a lot more damage - valuable information was lost that can never be recovered: the artefacts are no longer in-situ and contextual archealogical analysis is lost because of this.
18:02 November 6, 2009 by Nemesis
@ karex,

21:05 November 6, 2009 by Random Guy

treasure theft - jail - check

file share - jail - check

pedo to kids - no jail - check

take kids from dad - no jail - check

just need to know what you can and can not do in sweden!
00:30 November 7, 2009 by Nemesis
@ Random Guy,

Its like this.

Some of us are keeping score, names, places dates and times. When the law changes, make sure you have done nothing to an innocent.

Someday ordinary people will have a say in the law. When that happens, make sure you have done nothing wrong and you will be OK.

A lot of us women are fed up with this crap. We know there is good men, unlike the crazy feminists.

We are just keeping score as we raise the children.

As for the people sho raid and sell our cultural heritage, they can also expect no mercy.
02:41 November 7, 2009 by Vendorune
the old duke would have had their entrails removed.... 4 years maximum? no wonder Sweden is dying out.
14:50 November 7, 2009 by double concerto
"Theft of cultural heritage". Then all of Swedens politicians and the lib hangers on should also be in the dock, to answer for their crimes against Swedish peoples heritage, surely!!!
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