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Greek culture minister resigns over ancient Olympia theft

Greek Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos. (AP/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS: Greek Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos submitted his resignation on Friday after armed robbers stole over 60 ancient objects from a museum in Olympia, officials said.

A police source said 68 objects had been stolen from a museum dedicated to the ancient Olympic Games, with the local mayor adding that the items were of "incalculable" value.

A government source said Geroulanos had resigned over the incident.

Olympia mayor Thymios Kotzias said two masked men had immobilized the museum's sole female guard as she arrived to take over the early morning shift.

"There were two of them, and they had a gun," Kotzias told Flash Radio.

"They immobilized the guard as the shift changed at 7am (0500 GMT), having previously knocked out the alarm," he said.

"We must wait and see what the local archaeology supervisor will say, but the items were of incalculable value," Kotzias said.

Olympia, birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games, is visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.

The incident occurred at the town's second museum, which showcases bronze and ceramic objects used by ancient athletes in the Games.

The main Olympia museum, which is better guarded, features statues, architectural elements and offerings from the sprawling ancient complex.

 

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