Antiquities salvaged in 2015 from Lebanon’s EEZ in the framework of the “Enigma Shipwrecks Project” were confiscated by the Customs Department of the Republic of Cyprus because they were not declared when the ship carrying them docked at Limassol harbour, the Customs Department said on Wednesday.
The announcement came after a recent press release by the Antiquities Department commenting on two recent articles by The National and The Guardian that mentioned that Cyprus is in possession of the objects citing sources from UK-based company Enigma Recoveries, with The National reporting that Cyprus intends to sell them at auction which was refuted by the Antiquities Department.
The Customs Department said that it seized the objects on December 23, 2015, “as per the Customs Code Law 94(Ι) of 2004 because they were not declared on the documents submitted to the Customs Department in relation to the cargo on the ship transporting them when it docked at Limassol Harbour.”
It was added that the continuous conservation of all the confiscated objects has been taken on by expert staff under the supervision of the Antiquities Department and the Customs Department.
“A long-term goal of both the Customs Department and the Department of Antiquities is to fight illicit excavation and the illegal trade of cultural heritage items on land or at sea, and therefore a series of measures are undertaken to that end,” the announcement concluded.