MembersRaid Uncovers Stolen Artifacts

An undercover raid carried out by the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) has revealed hundreds of ancient artifacts that were being traded without a license.

By Israel Today Staff |
SEIZING THE SPOILS: Antiquities theft is a big business Photo: IAA

The IAA Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery had been watching a shop near Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City for some time. The store in the Mamilla Mall was finally raided, uncovering bronze arrowheads, coins with the names of the Hasmonean kings (140-37 BC), special vessels for storing perfume and hundreds of other items, some thousands of years old. All were being sold illegally.

 

Since March, a new law has been in effect that requires all Israeli antiquities dealers to manage their inventory through a computer system developed by the IAA. This is aimed at stopping dealers from selling illegal artifacts for profit while wiping away any evidence of their source, thus robbing the country of its cultural heritage.

 

“The activity we carried out in the Mamilla store is just part of a much broader effort being made in the antiquities market that is aimed at preserving the cultural heritage of the State...

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