'Ancient' Greek statue found in sheep pen is fake

Undated Greek police handout of an 'ancient 'statue later found to be fake The statue was originally thought to be 2,500 years old

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An "ancient" Greek statue found in a sheep pen north-west of Athens last week has now been deemed a fake.

At first, archaeologists at Greece's Culture ministry thought the figure of a woman dated from the 6th century BC.

Now, a closer examination has found moulding marks and traces of bubbles which prove it is a copy, sources at the ministry told news agencies.

Two men were arrested last week for allegedly trying to sell the statue for half a million euros (£417,000).

They are currently awaiting trial on charges of looting antiquities.

The figure is 1.2m (4ft) tall and depicts an archaic maiden, but experts are now certain it is a cast rather than an original sculpture.

They say it is an identical copy of a statue found in the Acropolis in Athens, and not an item of "priceless historical value" as originally thought.

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