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March 22, 2023

Dacian spiral recovered by Romanian police officers

A golden Dacian spiral weighing 887 grams, stolen from the Sarmizegetusa site in 2001 was recovered by Romanian police officers by international legal cooperation with the German authorities of the Hessen land. According to a press release issued on Sunday by the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police, the artifact is part of a treasure of spirals stolen by a group of delinquents in May 2001 from the archaeological site Sarmizegetusa Regia, in the County of Hunedoara, and was included on the UNESCO list as an historical monument. “The piece was recovered due to Art. No. 4 in the UNIDROIT Convention of Rome, stipulating the returning of the stolen or illegally exported cultural goods, after the Romanian state paid an adequate compensation to the American collector who had purchased the spiral at an antiquity shop in Germany,” the press release mentioned. Since the beginning of the investigation in 2005, and up to this moment, due to the activities of the police officers, numerous valuable objects were recovered and returned to the National Cultural Patrimony. Therefore, eleven Dacian bracelets, a necklace of 78 grams, a pair of earrings weighing 14 grams, all of them manufactured out of gold, silver and bronze, as well as numerous other artifacts became part of the collections owned by the National History Museum of Romania, and of the national history museums of Alba Iulia and Cluj – Napoca.

After the investigation, 23 suspects of crimes such as unauthorized digging in archaeological sites, qualified robbery of cultural goods, blackmail and violating laws on the preservation of cultural goods were arrested and prosecuted.

The investigation was completed by officers of the Judicial Police Department in the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police, in the Police Inspectorate of Alba County and in the Police Inspectorate of the Hunedoara County, with the support of the specialists of the General Department of Information and Internal Protection, trained to combat crimes against patrimony, under the direct supervision of the Prosecutors’ Office of the Appeal Court in Alba Iulia.

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