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Greek police arrest academic for illicit trading in antiquities

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Athens (dpa) - Greek police arrested a university professor who had allegedly been hiding hundreds of valuable ancient artifacts in his home and hoarding thousands more in a rented apartment, reports said Thursday.

The unidentified professor, who lectures in German literature at the Demokritos University in Thrace, in northern Greece, was questioned Wednesday following his arrest on charges of illicitly trading in antiquities.

A police search of the man's home unearthed a marble head of a statue and hundreds more artifacts believed to be very valuable.

More than 8,000 bronze coins and statuettes were found hidden in the rented apartment.

In a separate incident, police also arrested a wholesale merchant on similar charges after finding ancient coins, rings and other jewellery in his home.

Greece is currently cracking down on the illegal trade in ancient artefacts and has vowed to return all objects which have been proven to be illegally smuggled out of the country.

Copyright 2006 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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