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More Stuff: Archaeological treasures 'stolen' in France
France, prized by tourists for its historical treasures, loses at least half a million buried archaeological items to pillagers each year, a group fighting the practice said on Wednesday.

Archaeological treasures 'stolen' in France
A man searches with his metal detector [Credit: Ace Stock Limited/Alamy]

Jean-David Desforges, head of the French association Stop the Pilllage of Archaeological and Historical Heritage, told a conference that many objects from ancient Gaul, and Nazi artefacts from World War II were illegally dug up and sold by thousands of prospectors using metal detectors.

"In the past few years, the illegal sale of objects has exploded on the internet," he said, despite legislation that stipulates that buried heritage is protected.

The association, which is endorsed by France's culture ministry, has signed deals with eBay France to alert suspect objects put up for sale online - something it does 1 000 times a day, Desforges said.

Source: News24 [Jabuary 23, 2014]