A huge collection of historical artefacts dating back hundreds of years has been seized by police in a crack down on the illicit trade of cultural property.
Officers from the Regional Police Headquarters in Kraków assisted by local cops swooped on the address of a 40-year-old man in the town of Andrychów who they say had been on their ‘radar for sometime’.
Inside they found over 400 artefacts hidden inside cardboard boxes scattered around the property and in the attic.
The collections includes a vast range of items, from various types of weapons and military items to keys, decorations and coins.
Some of the items, including hammer, knives and arrowheads, date back to the Middle Ages.
All of the artefacts are protected by Poland’s law on the protection and care of monuments.
The collection was assembled through purchases at markets and online, but above all as a result illegal searches using a metal detector around Poland, without the necessary permission.
In a statement on their website, police wrote: “Some time ago, policemen from Lesser Poland dealing with combating crime against cultural goods received information that one of the inhabitants of Andrychów may have forbidden archaeological items.”
The statement added: “Illegal excavations at archaeological sites lead to the permanent destruction of both the monument itself and places that are illegally explored by homegrown explorers.”
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