ATHENS — Greek police arrested two men after they allegedly tried to sell a 1,500-year-old statue for 500,000 euros, officials said Wednesday, describing the nearly intact find as “priceless”.
The 1.2-metre (3.9-foot) statue of a kore, an archaic maiden, was found hidden in a sheep pen on Tuesday in the semi-rural district of Fyli, northwest of Athens.
An inspecting archaeologist said the sculpture was unique and of “priceless historical value”, the police said in a statement.
The statement said the men hoped to raise 500,000 euros ($661 million) for the statue, but did not specify to whom they were trying to sell it.
Korai and their male equivalents, known as kouroi, were monumental sculptures inspired by Egyptian art used by the Greeks from 600 to 500 BCE as votive or commemorative statues.
Greece, rich in archaeological heritage, has been targeted by illegal antiquity traders for decades.
Over 70 items were stolen last month from the Ancient Olympic Games museum in Olympia when two masked men knocked out the alarm then overpowered the building’s sole guard.