September 7, 2009

Column piece stolen from archaeology site

The Greek Culture Ministry said an investigation has been ordered into the theft of a large column fragment from an archaeological site.

The ministry said a guard at the site of Ancient Olympia in the western Peloponnese reported the 6th century column capital, the decorative top of the item, had been removed with no indication of how it was taken without authorities noticing, reported Monday.

The Culture Ministry said Georgia Hatzi, director of the 6th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, was suspended as a result of the theft and Maria Vlazaki, a senior official with the ministry's General Directorate of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, was sent to the archaeological site.