Thief returns loot after 20 years of misfortune


Israeli archeologist Eitan Klein of the Antiquities Theft Prevention Unit points at an engraved detail ...
Israeli archeologist Eitan Klein of the Antiquities Theft Prevention Unit points at an engraved detail on one of the 11 ancient coffins containing Jewish bones from the Second Temple period after they were recovered from thieves, on March 31, 2014 (AFP Photo/Gali Tibbon)

A thief in Israel has returned artefacts he stole 20 years ago after they brought him untold misfortune.

The artefacts, 2,000-year-old sling stones, had been stolen 20 years earlier from the ancient city of Gamla on the Golan Heights.

According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, the priceless artefacts were left last week in a bag in the courtyard of the Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures in Israel’s southern city of Beersheba with a note from the thief warning other would-be thieves to refrain from stealing artefacts.

“These are two Roman ballista balls from Gamla, from a residential quarter at the foot of the summit,” the thief wrote in a note distributed by the Authority.

“I stole them in July 1995, and since then they have brought me nothing but trouble. Please, do not steal antiquities!” said the note written in Hebrew.

The Antiquities Authority said nearly 2,000 such stones were found in Gamla and were used by the Romans against the Jews attempting to prevent the conquest of the hilltop city.

This was not the first plundered antiquity to be returned, said the Authority, noting that a Tel Aviv resident had held an ancient coffin in his bedroom before realising its “morbid nature”, AFP reported. (AFP)

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Thief returns loot after 20 years of misfortune
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