(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. 21/08 22:03

    Europe welcomes the conclusion of the bailout program for Greece

  2. 21/08 21:34

    Amazing Aggitis cave in Northern Greek city of Drama

  3. 21/08 21:28

    Visit Greece: Swim in Ionian Sea’s crystal clear waters of Thesprotia beaches

  4. 21/08 18:20

    Greek diver campaigns to protect seahorse colony in Chalkidiki

  5. 21/08 17:58

    American Airlines to launch new daily direct Chicago-Athens connection in summer 2019

  6. 21/08 15:08

    Renewable resort: Greek island of Tilos to run on wind and solar power

  7. 21/08 15:08

    Events in museums and ancient sites at Cyclades for August full moon

  8. 21/08 13:00

    Travel report: The relaxing experience of the Greek island of Kefalonia

  9. 21/08 10:44

    “Wish Tree” on Greek island of Antipaxos becomes tourist attraction

  10. 20/08 21:13

    Hala Sultan Mosque in Larnaca not accessible to visitors on 28 August 2018

  11. 20/08 17:28

    Greek island of Chios Mastiha Shop arrives in Qatar

  12. 20/08 15:54

    Magical time-lapse of Perseid meteor shower

  13. 20/08 15:06

    Greek Culture Minister calls for new talks on Parthenon Marbles return

  14. 20/08 14:41

    Report: Why Porto Heli in Greece attracts the rich every summer

  15. 20/08 14:40

    Moscovici: Conclusion of ESM programme by Greece marks historic moment

  16. 20/08 13:32

    Coca-Cola launches new bottle inspired by Minoan civilization of Crete

  17. 20/08 12:27

    16th European Gastronomy & Wine Congress in Athens on October 19-21

  18. 20/08 11:22

    Trips of Cyprus' residents abroad grow by 9.8% in July

  19. 20/08 10:13

    Picturesque Leipsi island off Patmos becomes popular wedding destination

  20. 18/08 20:30

    “Take a picture, not a pebble” campaign to save Lalaria beach on Skiathos island

  21. 18/08 20:26

    CTO: July 2017 – July 2018 best 12 months in history of tourism in Cyprus

  22. 18/08 18:22

    TUI, Fraport, HATTA report positive figures for Greek tourism in 2018

  23. 18/08 17:17

    Greek lighthouses open to the public on Sunday for ILLW weekend 2018

  24. 18/08 16:11

    More than half a million tourists in Cyprus in July 2018

  25. 18/08 15:04

    Greek island of Corfu making strides toward wheelchair-friendly beaches

  26. 18/08 14:00

    E-platform for short-term rentals in Greece ready by end-August: Tax official

  27. 18/08 12:55

    Cyprus monuments and ancient sites open to public on the evening of August 26

  28. 18/08 11:46

    Greek Culture Minister: Film permits for ancient sites to speed up under upcoming law

  29. 18/08 11:36

    Monica Belucci enjoys summer vacation on Greek islands of Mykonos and Paros

  30. 16/08 18:06

    AP: Endangered green and loggerhead turtles make comeback in Cyprus

  31. 16/08 17:58

    New York Euripides Summer Festival presented production of "Suppliants"

  32. 16/08 17:52

    New Study: Santorini island volcano erupted after 1600 BC

  33. 16/08 16:24

    Important finds in Amarynthos of Evia In Greece confirm sanctuary belonged to Artemis

  34. 16/08 14:55

    Shipping Ministry triples outlay for port improvements across Greece

  35. 16/08 14:24

    Religious Tourism: How Greece celebrates Dormition of Virgin Mary

  36. 16/08 11:57

    Ancient Pafos Acropolis explored by Cyprus University excavations at citadel in site of Kouklia

  37. 16/08 10:51

    Greek budget records primary surplus of €2.087 billion in January-July

  38. 14/08 20:50

    Beijing municipality delegation to visit Greek port of Patras

  39. 14/08 19:44

    Religious Tourism: Panagia Fidiotissa church in Greek island of Kefalonia

  40. 14/08 17:59

    Travel report: Avoid the crowds on these tranquil Greek islands

  41. 14/08 17:16

    ‘Russian Onassis’ Dmitry Rybolovlev enjoys dinner on Mykonos island (video)

  42. 14/08 17:15

    Greek PM: e-ticket for ancient sites and museums a key change for culture

  43. 14/08 16:08

    Employment flow performance improves in Greece between January-July thanks to tourism

  44. 14/08 15:08

    Freight carriers eye domestic rail network in Greece

  45. 14/08 14:02

    TUI to bring 2.8 million tourists to Greece this year

  46. 14/08 13:59

    New companies in Greece can set up in as little as 18 minutes

  47. 14/08 12:55

    Virtuoso: Greece among top-7 luxury destinations of American tourists in 2018

  48. 13/08 21:52

    More than 300 flights to and from Cyprus' airports on 19th August

  49. 13/08 21:37

    Corfu: 1st International Conference of Diaspora Greeks with Ionian descent

  50. 13/08 21:23

    Perseid meteor shower illuminates skies over Greece

  51. 13/08 20:11

    Greek tennis star Tsitsipas rises to No 15 in world ranking

  52. 13/08 18:57

    Greek tax authorities launch “Receipt, Please” campaign for tourists

  53. 13/08 16:30

    Religious Tourism: Holy Monastery of Panagia Kera in Greek island of Crete

  54. 13/08 14:21

    The 10 countries in the world with the smallest population

  55. 13/08 12:16

    Archaeologists discover sunken Ancient Greek ship in Black Sea

  56. 13/08 10:11

    Real Estate: Building activity rises up 17.6% across Greece in May

  57. 12/08 21:05

    Canada’s biggest Street Festival in Greektown over weekend

  58. 12/08 20:58

    Gambling Tourism: Mont Parnes and Hyatt Regency post improved results in H1 2018

  59. 12/08 20:45

    Greek national film office network in public investment program

  60. 12/08 19:05

    Greek summer season peaks ahead of August 15th celebration

  61. 12/08 15:51

    8th Greek Student Film Festival in Australia seeking new entries

  62. 12/08 11:37

    Turkish lira drops further as President Trump announces United States tariffs

  63. 10/08 22:20

    European Central Bank will revoke waiver for Greek banks

  64. 10/08 22:15

    Pythagoreion Theater on Greek island of Samos hosts Young Artists Festival

  65. 10/08 21:58

    Higher turnover and passenger numbers for Fraport Greece in H1 2018

  66. 10/08 20:03

    Global passenger arrivals in Greek airports up strongly in first seven months of 2018

  67. 10/08 18:35

    Mysterious objects that have intrigued archaeologists for centuries (video)

  68. 10/08 18:24

    Greek exports rise by impressive 24.8% reaching 3 billion euros

  69. 10/08 18:10

    New York Times: Lesser known Greek white wines to savor

  70. 10/08 14:17

    Infographic: Which countries give the most paid vacations in the world

  71. 10/08 12:08

    Thessaloniki firm adds real gold to Greek Olive Oil (video)

  72. 10/08 10:55

    Precious 2,200 year-old gold earring from Hellenistic era discovered in Israel

  73. 09/08 19:44

    Pebble mosaic dating to 4th century BC discovered in Greek city of Arta

  74. 09/08 19:28

    Religious Tourism: Panagia Episkopi, the oldest church on Santorini island

  75. 09/08 18:57

    Greek scientist and researchers discover cause of Santorini volcano eruption

  76. 09/08 18:37

    Greek Epirus Village of Lia memorialized by Gage gets Art museum

  77. 09/08 17:04

    Turkey to extend Booking.com ban to Airbnb, Expedia, Skyscanner and more

  78. 09/08 16:37

    Concert for Manos Eleftheriou on August 29 to benefit wildfire victims

  79. 09/08 13:19

    Greek ferry company Minoan Lines drops plastic straws

  80. 09/08 12:08

    Gateway to Greek Olive Oil celebrates 2nd anniversary

  81. 09/08 11:47

    Report: Wild party for the rich and famous on Greek island of Mykonos

  82. 09/08 10:00

    TUI Group expects double-digit earnings growth also for 2018

  83. 08/08 20:26

    Russian tourist arrivals to Greece to grow by more than 5% this year

  84. 08/08 20:02

    Ryanair cancels 250 flights to/from Germany on August 10 due to strike

  85. 08/08 19:51

    Tax inspections on Mykonos lead to local businesses' shutdowns

  86. 08/08 19:07

    First private naval high school to open on Greek island of Chios in September

  87. 08/08 19:06

    US ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt tours and lauds Greek island of Hios

  88. 08/08 18:20

    Travel guide: Six top reasons to visit Greek city of Thessaloniki this summer

  89. 08/08 17:47

    Creative workshops for children at Athens and Epidaurus festival

  90. 08/08 17:11

    #Greece is the most popular hashtag on Instagram

  91. 08/08 16:05

    Religious Tourism: Miraculous Monastery of Panagia Malevi in Peloponnese, Greece

  92. 08/08 15:21

    New flight to link Greek island of Lesvos with Turkish port of Izmir

  93. 08/08 14:48

    Two Greek museums compete for Europe’s Best in Short Film Awards (video)

  94. 08/08 12:42

    Emirates Airlines marks 10th anniversary of A380 operations

  95. 08/08 10:25

    Report: The top-5 aphrodisiac foods preferred by Ancient Greeks

  96. 07/08 22:43

    Canvas Holidays: Nissi Beach In Cyprus among world’s best beaches

  97. 07/08 22:35

    Cretans share funny trailer to entice tourists to run in Half Marathon 2018 (video)

  98. 07/08 21:59

    Real estate companies invest in Greek tourism property market

  99. 07/08 21:11

    Russian Embassy in Athens: Greece among top choices for Russian tourists

  100. 07/08 20:36

    Greek tax inspectors move on to Paros, Santorini and Rhodes after Mykonos