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Today the last performances of the Civil Guard have been presented, revealing three important operations in the field of Historical Heritage (22/12/2017)

The presentation was made by the Government delegate, Francisco Bernabé, who was accompanied by the Minister of Culture, Tourism and the Environment, Javier Celdrán and the Mayor of Alcantarilla, Joaquín Buendía, since they are located in the regional administration building. located in our Industrial Estate West.

The performances presented today have allowed to recover about 50,000 archaeological and paleontological pieces of great value and numerous coins from Roman and Muslim times

The Government delegate, Francisco Bernabé, indicated this morning, on Christmas Day, that the Region of Murcia "touches the lottery permanently" with the Civil Guard thanks to three operations such as those presented today and that have allowed to recover around 50,000 archaeological and paleontological pieces, some with millions of years, of incalculable value.

"This is a series of brilliant operations for which the Civil Guard has recovered all this material for the public heritage and for the heritage of all citizens," explained the delegate during the presentation of the results of operations Trilobito, Dupondio II and Falcata.

In this presentation in which he was also the general director of Cultural Property, José Antonio Lorca, was the Colonel Chief of the Civil Guard of Murcia, Carlos Arribas and one of the agents of the Civil Guard attached to the Heritage section, determinant in the recovery of these pieces, the sewer Alejo García Almagro, who could count, a posteriori, carefully, both the mayor of Alcantarilla, Joaquín Buendía, as the president of the Association "Legacy", Diego Rosique, of which Alejo is the Secretary, who was in this presentation, the importance of recovered archaeological and paleontological pieces.

Operation Trilobite

The Trilobito Operation, one of the most relevant in terms of Historical Heritage in the Region, has allowed the recovery of nearly 20,000 archaeological and paleontological pieces from a private collection located in three homes in Librilla.

The operation began when the Civil Guard, in the framework of the BALNEUM operation, carried out in June of last year, seized more than 200 archaeological pieces in the town of Torres de Cotillas (Murcia).

This first investigation allowed to know that a neighbor of the locality of Librilla could possess an important quantity of pieces and material of archaeological and paleontological origin, some of them coming from the pillage of archaeological sites and others bought or obtained through barter, during thirty years of years.

The investigators found out that their owner had recently died, so they cited one of their relatives to inform them of the regulation in the matter according to Law 4/2007 on Cultural Heritage, of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, regarding the possession of pieces of archaeological or paleontological value.

Seized in three Librilla homes

His current owner voluntarily agreed to the examination of three buildings, located in Librilla, where nearly 20,000 pieces were seized.

It treats of ceramic and metallic pieces of different nature, like ceramic glasses of type tulipas, objects of copper arseniacado or axes polished in stone and metal.

Numerous hand mills, miners clubs, unguents, Iberian and Roman loom weights, small idols and sling projectiles, among others, have also been intervened.

Apparently, the chronology of archaeological materials covers an area set from the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras, passing through the respective cultures that settled in the territory of Murcia.

These remains could belong to Lorca deposits, as well as Totana, Pliego and Librilla.

Paleontological pieces of millions of years old

In addition to the multitude of archaeological objects, thousands of pieces of paleontological or fossil type have also been seized.

These include specimens of urchins, bivalves, large scallops or ammonites, as well as limestone blocks with fossil corals, most of them in an excellent state of preservation despite their apparent antiquity.

This material, supposedly, could have been part of afloraciones located in the towns of Moratalla, Jumilla, Mula, Archena and Sangonera-Murcia.

It is estimated that the rest of the seized objects are the result of the purchase and barter that the possessor of the same carried out for decades.

The Law 4/2007 of Cultural Heritage, of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, which regulates the protection of Historical Heritage, establishes that within a maximum period of one year from its entry into force, any natural or legal person, public or private, has the obligation to participate to the body with regional competence in this matter, the possession of this type of pieces.

In the case investigated this was not only not carried out, but the collection was increasing over the years.

Close collaboration of the Benemérita and the Historical Heritage Service of Murcia

The operation TRILOBITO, developed by agents of the Civil Guard specialized in archaeological patrimony, has counted on the collaboration of technicians of the Service of Historical Patrimony, of the General Direction of Cultural Assets of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia.

According to experts in the field, some of them, because of their uniqueness, would be unique pieces for museum collections in the Region.

The Civil Guard has completed the operation 'TRILOBITO' with the seizure of about 20,000 pieces of archaeological and paleontological origin, in three homes of Librilla.

The confiscated objects have been deposited, for their custody and later study, cataloging and inventoried in dependencies of the Archaeological Museum of Murcia.

Operation DUPONDIO

The second phase of Operation Duopondio, whose investigation is still open, is investigating 43 people as alleged perpetrators of the crimes of misappropriation, reception and contraband of property belonging to the Spanish Historical Heritage.

During the investigation, thousands of ancient coins, numerous archaeological objects, as well as nine metal detectors and the necessary tools to carry out the excavations have been recovered.

The operation, framed in the 'Plan for the defense of the Spanish Historical Heritage', began when the Civil Guard detected the sale of coins and other metallic objects of archaeological origin through the Internet.

In March of this year, the Civil Guard began the operation DUPONDIO fruit of which were confiscated, in four homes of Calasparra and Abarán, thousands of Roman and medieval coins, as well as about 20,000 metal pieces of archaeological origin.

In addition, important documentation was intervened in one of the homes, which, once analyzed, allowed the development of the second phase of the operation in which 43 people were investigated and four house searches were carried out in Abarán, Calasparra and San Fernando (Cádiz).

Nearly 30,000 objects seized

The records have resulted in the seizure of 11,466 coins of Phoenician, Iberian, Roman, Visigoth and medieval origin, as well as more than 15,000 metallic objects of archaeological origin, such as Phoenician, Roman and Islamic arrowheads, material of Roman origin dedicated to personal grooming, buckles and medieval pencils, among others.

Thousands of ceramic fragments have also been seized, such as around thirty complete ceramic vessels, amphoras destined for the transport of wine within the Mediterranean arch, Roman glass anointing, anchorisks and other vessels of Islamic origin, many of which still had the typical concretions. of having been submerged in the bottom of the sea for centuries.

In the course of the investigation, the Civil Guard has arrested, in flagrante, a person when he was caught while he was expelling an archaeological site in the municipality of Calasparra.

Nearly half a million euros raised with sales

The researchers of the Benemérita have determined that after cleaning the pieces, an expert person sorted them chronologically so that later they could be photographed and put on sale through the Internet.

The material purchased on the black market was put up for sale in shops or through digital platforms, one of which would have obtained, in the space of two years, about 200,000 euros.

80% of the pieces sold, coming from the Spanish Historical Heritage, were destined, among others, to customers from the United States, Great Britain and Japan.

In total, it is estimated that the sale of these objects would have generated a research income of around half a million euros.

Operation Falcata

The operation 'FALCATA', began last September has resulted in the arrest of a person as alleged perpetrator of the crimes of misappropriation, reception, illegal possession of weapons, ammunition deposit and crime related to the protection of the flora and fauna.

In an industrial building in Cartagena, the Benemérita has seized more than 2,000 objects, among which are 1,400 ancient coins, ceramic, metal and stone objects of archaeological value, 88 pieces of ivory protected by CITES Convention, and 39 weapons. and abundant ammunition.

The investigation began last September when SEPRONA agents investigated, through the Internet, the purchase and sale of objects of historical value, protected by the Law of Historical Heritage of the Region.

These investigations allowed to identify a person, settled in Cartagena, who allegedly is dedicated to the sale of old objects through the Internet in the Region.

The different surveillance devices established on the suspect allowed his arrest in flagrante delicto, since he was surprised while he was selling the pieces made in supposedly ivory, without the corresponding CITES documentation proving his legal possession.

The detainee was seized the size of a Christ allegedly made in ivory, which was intended to be sold for about 6,000 euros, which is attributed an alleged offense relating to the protection of flora and fauna

This first intervention put the Benemérita behind the track of an industrial building in Cartagena, where the detainee maintained some activity, for which the corresponding entry and registration order was requested.

Recently, investigators have inspected the property and found 1,400 coins from the Roman and Muslim eras, numerous pieces of pottery, metal and stone of archaeological value, ivory carvings, 39 weapons (fire and white) and a large amount of ammunition .

Of the total of weapons intervened, some of them are useless, there are weapons of war, revolvers and pistols, as well as knives.

Some of them are considered historical weapons, such as rifles and muzzleloaders, sabers, swords and catanas, as well as a crossbow.

Therefore, the Civil Guard has arrested its owner as alleged perpetrator of the crimes of misappropriation, reception, illegal possession of weapons and ammunition deposit.

The pieces of archaeological value seized coins, amphoras, amulets, fibulas and other pieces of stone have been deposited in the Archaeological Museum of Cartagena, the objects of supposedly ivory in the regional offices of Customs and Special Taxes of Murcia and weapons and ammunition in the Intervention of Weapons of the 5th Zone of the Civil Guard in Murcia, all available to the judicial authority

Source: Ayuntamiento de Alcantarilla

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