Armed thieves raid Greece's Olympia Museum

Greek cultural minister resigns after robbers wearing hoods steal between 60 and 70 items of 'incalculable value' after breaking in, tying female employee

Armed robbers have stolen several dozen artefacts from Greece's Ancient Olympia Museum, which houses one of the most important collections of ancient Greek antiquities, police and reports said.

Robbing greece's pride: According to officials, the armed thieves
made away with around 60-70 items and smashed display cases

Two robbers wearing hoods broke into the museum yesterday before tying up the one female employee on duty at the time, reports from Greece said.

The robbers then used hammers to smash display cases, taking away between 60 and 70 items.

"According to the results of the investigation so far, unknown persons immobilised the guard of the museum and removed bronze and clay objects from the displays, as well as a gold ring," a police statement said.

Police set up roadblocks around the museum. The mayor of Olympia, Thymios Kotzias said that the robbers, who had a gun, first disabled the alarm and then struck as the guard shift was being changed.

"We must wait and see what the local archaeology supervisor will say, but the items were of incalculable value," Kotzias was quoted as saying.

'I quit'
The Greek minister of culture, Pavlos Geroulanos, submitted his resignation following news of the robbery.  It was not known whether the resignation had been accepted by Prime Minister Lucas Papademos. The museum is next to the site, about 200 miles west of Athens, where the ancient Olympics were held.

About Olympia museum
The Archaeological Museum of Olympia, one of the most important museums in Greece, presents the long history of the most celebrated sanctuary of antiquity, the sanctuary of Zeus, father of both gods and men, where the Olympic games were born. The best artworks are the sculpture of Hermes by Praxiteles, Nike of Paionius, Miltiades' helmet and the pediments from the temple of Zeus, picturing the myth of Peleus and Hippodameia on one side, and the myth of Apollo, the Centaurs and the Lapiths.

Did you know?
Before every Olympics, the flame is lit near the Temple of Hera, near the museum

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