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Published:February 19th, 2012 12:32 EST
Was the Olympia Museum Robbery a Contracted Professional Job or Was it Merely Amateurs?

Was the Olympia Museum Robbery a Contracted Professional Job or Was it Merely Amateurs?

By John G. Kays


A brazen robbery of an Olympia museum in Greece brings up many irksome questions. Can the video tape of the two robbers ransacking precious artifacts dating back to the earliest of the Olympic Games help to identify them? Were they contracted by someone else to pull off the heist? 


Is the robbery related to Greece`s recent economic woes? Will an accurate inventory of the nearly 70 objects made of bronze and pottery (figurines, vases, lamps, and a ring) be published?


Another obvious question, is how can the thieves fence these precious ancient Greek treasures, when their identity has been carefully documented with photographs, featured in Olympic` histories or archaeological journals? 


This fact unto itself suggests the possibility that the thieves were contracted by a wealthy patron, who wanted the priceless artifacts for his (or her) own private collection. *(With this in mind, it could never be known by anyone!)


On the other hand, these thieves could just be merely impecunious local desperadoes who were in need of basics (such as food), and were willing to do anything to get at a portion of these priceless relics (we need a specific inventory of what was taken).


Or, contrary to this, the BBC has reported that the thieves spoke in broken Greek. This would suggest the robbers came from a different country, and were simply taking advantage of Greece`s shaky economic situation. This must be considered as well.


Either way, it will be challenging to receive some jack for booty without detection, when attempting to fence these famous artifacts. The heist itself was in some ways professional and well thought out, but in other ways, a bit fidgety and careless in its operation.


That is, over-coming a single female guard (at 7:30 AM), right at a shift change, was precisely flawless. Contrary to this, is the sloppy manner of shattering the glass cases, grabbing the delicate figurines (and whatnot), and carelessly tossing them in a gigantic makeshift Santa bag!


One political ramification of the sacking of this less important Olympic museum, is that the Greek Culture Minister Pavlos Gerocoulanos resigned from his post on Friday. It seems as if just last month the National Gallery in Athens was robbed as well.


At that time, thieves got away with artworks by Pablo Picasso, Dutch abstract artist Piet Mondrian, and 16th century Italian master Guglielmo Caccio, otherwise known as Moncalvo.


Moreover, one suspects these popular artworks could be fenced, only with a great deal of difficulty. Does this signal a ransacking of Greece`s most sacred ancient treasures by an outside party? The veracity of this troublesome possibility must be explored thoroughly! And this second robbery poses an added embarrassment to the Greeks, coming on the heels (as it does) of the 2012 Olympics, which will begin in May with London as its hosting city.


Any conniving, perfidious opportunist, whether they be of the sterling caliber of Cary Grant playing a clever cat burglar (in Alfred Hitchcock`s classic To Catch a Thief), or whether they be mere bungling buffoons of plunderous device, without a clue to their name on how to pull off a proper job (anyway you look at it), you have to omit something  very strange is going on with these Grecian Art-House heists!


*(Sources - BBC, CNN, Bangkok Post, and The Daily Mail)


Robbery at Ancient Olympia Museum: Armed robbers steal priceless Greek antiques | Mail Online