The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #171928   Message #4169017
Posted By: Steve Shaw
02-Apr-23 - 05:56 AM
Thread Name: Armchair Archaeologist (via Google Earth) pt 2
Subject: RE: Armchair Archaeologist (via Google Earth) pt 2
From yesterday's Guardian:

Smuggled Iranian carving worth £30m seized at airport by UK border patrol

The ancient treasure has been restored and will go on show at the British Museum before going back home.

It was carved almost 2,000 years ago and is such an important sculpture that if it appeared on the art market today it could fetch more than £30m.

But this is a previously unrecorded antiquity that can never be sold. For the large fragment of a Sasanian rock relief – which depicts an imposing male figure carved in the 3rd century AD – has been freshly gouged from a cliff in Iran with an angle grinder.

It was heading for the black market in Britain when it was seized at Stansted airport. Border Force officers became suspicious when they saw its haphazard packaging, perhaps intended to suggest that it was a worthless item. The antiquity, which is over one metre in height, was hacked out of living rock or rock that has been carved in situ.