A 60-year old Professor of the Thrace University was arrested when the police authorities in Thessaloniki found in his two houses about 10,000 ancient items. At the same time, a bottling-water merchant, who possessed a small archaeological treasure, was arrested also in Thessaloniki. Culture Minister Georgios Voulgarakis stated after his meeting with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis on Wednesday that an Illegal Trading of Antiquities Directorate would be set up. At the same time, measures would be taken so that the provisions on illegal trading of antiquities would allow for stricter penalties. He also said that after Christmas holidays; the Ministry of Culture would table three bills at Parliament.
Mr Voulgarakis also said that things were on course, appearing optimistic over issues managed by his ministry. He also said that more antiquities would be returned to Greece.
"When the state has an objective and operates in a scientific and organized way then it proves effective," pointed out Mr Voulgarakis.