(Update) Greek police arrest 55-year-old man over theft of 5.7 million-year-old footprints in Crete

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
(Update) Greek police arrest 55-year-old man over theft of 5.7 million-year-old footprints in CreteThe entire site and the footprints found have been accurately measured and recorded by research teams using laser techniques, so that every part of it is immediately identifiable and recognizable

Greek police arrested on Friday a 55-year-old man in connection with the theft of 10 fossilised footprints which were stolen on earlier this week from the site where they were uncovered in Kissamos, Western Crete, authorities announced.

The suspect faces charges of violating laws on protection of cultural heritage. Authorities were able to find quickly in regions of Kissamos and Thessaloniki all ten fossils. The objects will be send to Chania to be examined by experts. 

Ten of some 40 footprints on the site were cut away and removed from the rock where they were discovered by a Polish paleontologist in 2002. The 5.7-million-year-old fossils are believed to belong to a hominid ancestor of modern humans and their discovery could upend established theories of human evolution. 

The theft was reported by a member of the public that visited the site on Tuesday and alerted local police, and was later verified by the Natural History Museum of Crete. The investigation of the case is continuing.

Immediately identifiable and recognisable fossilised footprints

In an announcement published on Thursday, the Natural History Museum of Crete confirmed the theft and was sharply critical of those responsible.

".. Following information we received, a member of the research team, Charalambos Fasoulas, visited Kissamos on Wednesday and carried out an inspection. This confirmed that at some time, probably at the beginning of the previous week, unknown individuals acting selfishly and without conscience had proceeded to destroy and remove from the archaeological site sections of rocks that included 10 footprints out of a total of 40 that have been studied. Mr. Fasoulas went to the police station in the area and reported the incident, providing all information possible," the announcement said.

The announcement also noted that the entire site and the footprints found have been accurately measured and recorded by research teams using laser techniques, so that every part of it is immediately identifiable and recognisable. As a result, it added, it would be impossible to attempt to sell the footprints without this being immediately detected.

"Consequently, if anyone thought that they could profit from this act they are out of luck. The Museum unequivocally condemns this action, which is shameful for our country and for all of us. It accepts the share of responsibility that probably belongs to it and calls on all the agencies and services involved to take immediate action today to protect the site and the fossils from possible similar destructive actions, as well as to take the necessary action to showcase the finds, which was the desire of the entire research team."

Independent city from Classical era up to the Roman times

Kastelli Kissamou is located 36 km west of Chania in the area where ancient Kissamos (port of Polirrinia) used to be. Nowadays, it is the fourth largest port of the island and is connected by boats with Gythio and Kithira. The area is very popular for its port, history and wine. During antiquity, Kissamos was developed and flourished as an independent city – from Classical era up to the Roman times – and this is verified by the ruins of constructions that were preserved such as the baths, the water reservoir, the famous floor mosaics and the citadel located in Seli area. Scientists uncovered in the area findings of Mycenaean times. Many years later, during the Venetian occupation Kissamos was surrounded by fortified walls for protection from sea enemies. People also built the fort – castello, from which the town took its name. Nowadays, only ruins are saved from this massive wall as sieges and attacks of the Turks were so many that the wall could not endure.

In the small but organized city museum you will see findings from excavations in ancient Kissamos and its surrounding areas. The museum’s collection includes floor mosaics of 2nd and 3rd century houses found in Kissamos city, as well as findings from the archeological sites of Polirrinia and Falasarna (mainly statues, reliefs and ceramics dating back to the Hellenistic and Roman times).

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Copyright: Olaf Tausch License: CC-BY-SA

Tornos
  1. 16/11 19:00

    Athens-listed Fourlis Group to launch property investment company in Greece

  2. 16/11 18:54

    Ermou street in Athens among the world’s most expensive thanks to tourism

  3. 16/11 18:48

    Piraeus Bank to manage agricultural products guarantee account in Greece

  4. 16/11 18:32

    112 approved investment plans for Greek aquaculture units reach €93.1 million

  5. 16/11 18:23

    Greek Tourism Minister voices support to Antetokounmpo brothers

  6. 16/11 16:43

    Jazz for kids: The story of a rhythm at Gloria theater in central Athens

  7. 16/11 16:37

    Changes to Athens museums opening hours due to Polytechnic celebrations

  8. 16/11 14:56

    Greek and international grand cru wines at Athens event on Sunday

  9. 16/11 14:04

    Brexit: Theresa May to face no confidence vote after Tory MPs reach 48 letters

  10. 16/11 12:44

    Greek airports announce record breaking arrivals in first 10-months of 2018

  11. 16/11 11:27

    SRB chief: Greek banking system has significantly improved

  12. 16/11 10:51

    Hollande visits Athens to congratulate Greece for its success after years of austerity

  13. 15/11 21:33

    Brexit negotiations: What is in the withdrawal agreement and the proposals on travel

  14. 15/11 21:12

    MSCI relegation for three Greek banks impacts Athens Stock exchange

  15. 15/11 21:05

    Three Athens metro stations close on Saturday due to Polytechnic uprising feast

  16. 15/11 20:58

    Prince Charles' favorite food is ‘Groussaka’ a special version of Moussaka

  17. 15/11 20:52

    MIG negotiations with Fortress fund over Attica Group sale close without deal

  18. 15/11 20:47

    Euro Working Group approves measure to leave Greek pensions uncut

  19. 15/11 20:19

    EU Brexit divorce agreement in peril after two UK cabinet ministers quit

  20. 15/11 20:02

    Greek PM dons Antetokounmpo shirt in support against racist slur

  21. 15/11 19:38

    Greek Court of Audit greenlights Athens Airport concession extension by 20 years

  22. 15/11 18:31

    US companies seeking to explore synergies and investments in Greece

  23. 15/11 16:08

    Pallas Theater in central Athens now caters to non-Greek speakers

  24. 15/11 15:55

    Greece expected to receive its first snow of the season on Friday

  25. 15/11 13:49

    Cyprus Airways connects Athens with Larnaca daily during the winter of 2018-19

  26. 15/11 12:39

    UNWTO and Municipality of León develop first shopping tourism project in Mexico

  27. 15/11 11:28

    Statues of Chinese artist Xu Hongfei to decorate the Greek port of Thessaloniki

  28. 15/11 10:14

    Roman amphorae found at ancient port of Akrotiri-Dreamers Bay in Cyprus

  29. 15/11 09:18

    Travelodge announces weirdest requests from British hotel guests in 2018

  30. 15/11 01:12

    ΑΒΤΑ: Five key principles for selling travel products to the over 50s

  31. 15/11 01:09

    UNWTO: Communities needed in Cultural Tourism’s digital transformation

  32. 15/11 00:57

    IATA: "Spirit of change" needed from governments to boost European competitiveness

  33. 14/11 23:02

    Religious Tourism: Greek Holy church in Turkey abandoned to ruin

  34. 14/11 22:51

    Traffic diversions along Athens-Thessaloniki motorway for maintenance works

  35. 14/11 20:40

    Wedding tourism: Greek island of Santorini among the world's top destinations for 2019

  36. 14/11 18:35

    Outbound tourism from India to double by 2022

  37. 14/11 18:28

    Tourists in Cyprus drive beer deliveries up by 3.6% in first 10 months of 2018

  38. 14/11 15:20

    Social media channel: The 14 most beautiful nationalities in the world (video)

  39. 14/11 14:12

    No ferry service in Greece on November 28 as seamen join general strike

  40. 14/11 12:05

    Greek National Tourism Organization clip wins world’s “Best Tourism Film” award (video)

  41. 14/11 10:56

    Ancient city of Tenea unearthed in Greece - its prosperity to Roman times confirmed

  42. 14/11 00:08

    Research: New ranking method could help hotels to maximise their revenue

  43. 13/11 21:52

    The cherished flavors of Tselementes, Greece’s original ‘Masterchef’

  44. 13/11 21:38

    Survey: Greek CFOs most optimistic in Europe for Autumn 2018

  45. 13/11 21:26

    Greek museums and sites record rise in visitors and revenue in first seven months of 2018

  46. 13/11 20:12

    Original winter swimming race across Vouliagmeni Bay in Athens on December 2

  47. 13/11 19:13

    Disabled 14-year-old girl captures Greek hearts at Athens Marathon (video)

  48. 13/11 19:05

    Greek government to lessen social security contributions for professionals

  49. 13/11 19:01

    Lower property tax to boost consumption and real estate in Greece

  50. 13/11 18:53

    Bank of Greece drafts plan for slashing NPLs by €40 billion

  51. 13/11 18:13

    ASTA International Showcase conference on island of Rhodes in Spring 2019

  52. 13/11 14:43

    British Tourism: Hard Brexit's impact on the Greek economy

  53. 13/11 14:37

    More than 2,000 investors visit Greek pavilion at Web Summit 2018

  54. 13/11 13:25

    Survey: Lower labour costs in hotels and restaurants in Cyprus

  55. 13/11 11:04

    Greek and Italian PMs discuss cooperation in investments and energy

  56. 13/11 10:17

    Lake Antinioti: In the footsteps of the Durrells at Corfu's otter lagoon

  57. 13/11 01:55

    First Greek supermarket opens in Germany

  58. 13/11 01:51

    5786 Turks have sought asylum in Greece following the failed coup in 2017

  59. 13/11 01:46

    Greek exports to surpass 33 billion euros by end of 2018

  60. 13/11 01:41

    Bank of Greece points to higher residential property prices in Q3 2018

  61. 13/11 01:29

    International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas held in Greece

  62. 13/11 01:20

    Culture Tourism: The Platonic Academy of Athens, the world’s first university

  63. 13/11 01:13

    Campaign to save Hellenique Fondation "Greek House" in Paris

  64. 13/11 01:05

    Lemnos Gallipoli Committee commemorates Armistice Day 1918 on Mudros Bay

  65. 12/11 23:55

    Antique musical instruments at Ancient Nikopolis Museum in Greece

  66. 12/11 21:50

    The superb health benefits of Greek honey

  67. 12/11 21:43

    Vote for the Greek island of Corfu in EUFCN Location Award competition

  68. 12/11 19:25

    Nike honors of Greek Olympic legend Louis with new Air Zoom Spiridon

  69. 12/11 16:20

    UAE investment firm Mubadala invites Greek firms for cooperation

  70. 12/11 15:06

    Sports Tourism: Greek girl wins karate world championship (video)

  71. 12/11 13:01

    China expresses strong interest in Greek products and services

  72. 12/11 11:55

    EBRD-funded programs for Greek small and medium-sized enterprises

  73. 11/11 20:58

    Voice of Greece renewed program beginning on Monday, November 12th

  74. 11/11 20:46

    Brimin Kipkorir Misoi from Kenya wins 36th Authentic Athens Marathon (video)

  75. 11/11 20:29

    Educational programs for kids at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens

  76. 11/11 18:53

    APRA welcomes European Court of Auditors’ special report on passengers’ rights

  77. 11/11 16:42

    Direct metro connection to Athens airport resumes operations on Saturday

  78. 11/11 12:35

    UNWTO: Outbound tourism spending from the Gulf 6 times the global average

  79. 11/11 10:11

    Russian archaeologists unearthed ancient Greek settlement in Crimea peninsula

  80. 10/11 14:08

    Saffron 'the red gold of the Greek land' to reach Chinese shops by 2019

  81. 10/11 13:59

    Greek industrial output grows by 2% year-on-year in September

  82. 10/11 13:55

    Cyprus building permits significantly grow between January – August 2018

  83. 10/11 13:47

    Photo of flight attendant breastfeeding passenger’s baby goes viral

  84. 10/11 13:35

    Education Tourism: First school reader in demotic Greek turns 100

  85. 10/11 13:22

    Medical Tourism: Onassis Foundation head notes new era for transplants in Greece

  86. 10/11 12:31

    IMF more optimistic on Greek economy that European Union

  87. 10/11 11:16

    The Times 2018 spotlight on Cyprus: Opportunity knocks for investors...

  88. 09/11 21:23

    Religious Tourism: How Arkadi became symbol of self sacrifice for freedom

  89. 09/11 21:23

    NGTO and Aegean launch new campaign to promote Athens and Thessaloniki

  90. 09/11 21:07

    Power supply restored on the Greek island of Rhodes

  91. 09/11 19:53

    History Tourism: Phryne, the Ancient Greek model who stripped for her freedom

  92. 09/11 19:36

    Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria gets nod of the European Commission

  93. 09/11 19:19

    Russian tycoon Rybolovlev released but remains still under investigation

  94. 09/11 19:10

    Archaeological Museum on Greek island of Corfu to reopen after six years

  95. 09/11 18:43

    Greece extends Golden Visas for affluent foreign investors

  96. 09/11 16:41

    New Victoria Hislop book inspired by the Greek island of Makronisos

  97. 09/11 14:58

    16 Greek enterprises participate in business mission to Nigeria

  98. 09/11 14:47

    Record 415 exhibitors in Philoxenia and another 200 in Hotelia

  99. 09/11 12:49

    Greek Cultural Day marks Greek migration in Sydney of Australia

  100. 09/11 12:42

    Evgenios Vassilikos: November established as Month of Marathon for Athens tourism