In an event at the Theocharakis Foundation, author Giorgos Tsoukalis presented his latest book, History Smugglers – Return of the 20 Treasures, a look at antiquities smuggling that describes some high-profile cases, including those that have been solved in recent years.
Tsoukalis, who also worked as a private investigator as part of his work on the book, presented in-depth experiences about tracking down the trade in stolen antiquities. “This is not only a simple description of my research over the past twenty years so as lost or significant archaeological artifacts are identified and returned. It does not only show the efforts, the risks, the struggles, the disappointments and the moments of great joys in order to achieve this important goal. Those stories are something more than just some police background investigations. It is actually one of the biggest pieces of my life. I literally devoted my life to this”.
Among other stories presented is the story of the artifacts stolen from the Museum of Ancient Corinth in the 1990′s as well as the theft of a priceless Peter Paul Rubens painting that was solved after 10 years.
The purpose of the book, he said, is to highlight the importance of respecting and maintaining a nation’s cultural heritage. Tsoukalis underlined that, “The cultural heritage belongs to everyone and is as essential as the territorial integrity of our country.”