Top Bulgarian Archaeologist Wants Trade in Antiquities Legal

Society | March 13, 2006, Monday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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Top Bulgarian Archaeologist Wants Trade in Antiquities Legal Prominent Bulgarian archaeologist Professor Nikolay Ovcharov called Monday for legalizing trade in antiquities. Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (Sofia News Agency)

Prominent Bulgarian archaeologist Professor Nikolay Ovcharov called for legalizing trade in antiquities in a bid to remove the strong incentives for the pillage of archaeological sites.

"Trade in antiquities should be strictly regulated by the state and should take place at auctions only," Professor Nikolay Ovcharov said at a press conference on Monday. He spoke of the huge interest that the ancient sanctuary of Perperikon, in the heart of the Rhodopes, and the tomb near the village of Tatul drew at the International Tourism Bourse in Berlin.

"It is not only by legalizing private collections, listing all objects and publicly following their discovery that we can limit treasure-hunting," said Professor Ovcharov.

He expressed discontent with the sluggish pace at which the current government is moving to adopt legislation on the acquisition, trade and granting of concessions of monuments of culture.
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