It’s been revealed that the Sicilian Mafia smuggled out pillaged ancient treasures from some of the island ‘s most famous archeological sites, which then ended up in museums around the world.
The treasures , worth hundreds of millions of dollars, included statues, vases and coins and were distributed to shady dealers in Switzerland who then sold them on to museums and private collectors in Europe, the Gulf States and the United States.
The revelations have been made by a captured Mafia boss,Matteo Messina Denaro ,in confessions to police in Italy.
He said during the 1970s at the famous 5th Century BC Greek temple site of Selinunte , more than a thousand tombraiders would work through the night digging up the treasures.
Some of the vases dug up had no decorations on them so they were then embellished by experts, re buried, left in the ground for several years and then re excavated, increasing their value a thousand fold.
The treasures are the property of the State and this year alone Roman treasures worth millions have been confiscated and returned after they were tracked down by investigators in US museums and private homes.
Find out more about the global pillaging through the ages here.