'Ancient' Greek statue found in sheep pen is fake

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image source, Reuters
image captionThe statue was originally thought to be 2,500 years old

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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