Swiss seize artefacts looted from Syria’s Palmyra

Swiss seize artefacts looted from Syria's Palmyra
The artefacts were apparently deposited in the free ports in 2009 and 2010. Photo: Louai Beshara/ AFP
Swiss authorities said Friday they had seized cultural relics looted from Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra, as well as from Libya and Yemen, which were being stored in Geneva’s free ports.

The free ports provide highly secured warehouses where basically anything can be stashed tax-free with few questions asked.

The confiscated objects, from the third and fourth centuries, include ahead of Aphrodite and two funereal bas-reliefs.

Most of the items reached Switzerland via Qatar and were taken by looters, Geneva’s public prosecutor said in a statement.

They were deposited at the free ports in 2009 and 2010 and the alarm was first raised in April 2013 during a customs inspection, prosecutors added. It was not immediately clear when they were seized.


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