Stolen Antiquities Found in a Truck in Hungary Believed to be from Urartu


BUDAPEST, Hungary—A series of items that were found following a completed investigation of a truck that was carrying Persian, Sumerian, and Assyrian antiquities are believed to be from Urartu, Associated Press reported.

Examples of Urartian helmets

On Feb. 8, police in Bacs-Kiskun County said that the bronze objects from as early as 900 B.C. were among the dozens of items recovered. Artifacts including a helmet, small bells, and a horse tack were likely from the grave of a high-ranking officer from the ancient Armenian Kingdom of Van.

According to experts, such a large assortment of objects has never been recovered before from an Urartu grave and speculated that other artifacts also taken from the grave, such as the officer’s weapons and shields, may have been sold separately by the finders.

Hungarian police found the objects during a routine search of a truck en route to Lithuania on Sept. 29. They have recommended that the 50-year-old Turkish driver, who said a man in Istanbul paid him 300 Euros ($320) to take the antiquities to Poland, be charged with receiving stolen goods.

The entire collection, which is estimated to be worth about $690,000, is being kept at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest for the time being.


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