Bulgarian archaeologists and criminal groups were in a race to find ancient treasures first, an article in The Guardian named Bulgaria Fights to Save its Golden Past from the Curse of the Gangsters said.
A number of Thracian treasures have already been found on the territory of Bulgaria, the report said. These artifacts were about to disprove claims that the Thracians were “barbarian race whose greatest contribution to history was Spartacus, the slave who rebelled against Rome.”
At the same time, criminal groups proved sometimes more skillful and faster than archaeologists and managed to unearth ancient treasures first, The Guardian said.
Some Thracian treasures could even rival findings from ancient Troy, the report said. Among the most impressive pieces were a solid gold mask and a platinum dagger found recently.
“We have 15,000 Thracian burial mounds, and 400 ancient settlements - but it is terribly hard to protect them all. Looting has boomed since the end of communism 15 years ago”, Bulgarian archaeologists said.
To meet EU accession criteria Bulgaria has tightened border control and busted a number of criminal groups. But because of the low standards of living archaeologists said they feared criminal groups would remain in power.
... is it just me, or does it sound like the Guardian article was 'news' to the editors of the Sofia Echo?