The would-be robber, who was identified by the initials I.F., was caught by a metal detector as he attempted to leave the 30,000-square-meter-park on a promontory overlooking the Tarentine Gulf with his loot.
Police seized the artifacts and placed him under house arrest pending trial on charges of illicitly acquiring cultural assets and damaging public property.
The Capo Colonna park houses several ongoing archeological digs as well as a Doric column that once was part of a temple to the goddess Hera dating back to the 6th century BC.
The temple was one of the most important religious locations in Magna Graecia, the name given to coastal areas of southern Italy that were extensively colonized by Greek settlers in antiquity.
The park also has a museum built into the earth to limit its environmental impact. Divided into three sections (The Earth, The Sacred, and The Sea), it houses recovered underwater artifacts, votive objects and structural ruins from the temple.
Source: ANSA [January 28, 2014]