The Civil Guard includes the protection of historical heritage as one of its priority lines of work

The General Director of the Civil Guard, María Gámez has presented the results of two operations on historical heritage carried out in Córdoba

Among the archaeological pieces intervened and exhibited are Roman, Iberian, Arab and Visigothic coins, fibulae, earrings, ceramics, lead of Iberian origin, lead sling projectiles, Visigothic buckles, spears, arrows, swords and other medieval weapons.

The presentation ceremony, held at the Archaeological Museum of Córdoba, was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Culture of the Junta de Andalucía, Alejandro Romero; the delegate of the Government of the Junta de Andalucía in Córdoba, Antonio Repullo; the Delegate of Culture in Córdoba, Cristina Casanueva; the Director of the Archaeological Museum, Mª Dolores Baena; the General Chief of the Civil Guard in Andalusia, Alfonso Rodríguez Castillo and the Chief of the Civil Guard Command of Córdoba, Juan Carretero

The general director of the Civil Guard, María Gámez has presented at the Archaeological Museum of Córdoba the results of the “Bembézar and“ Ponderosa ”operations carried out in the province of Córdoba within the framework of the services that the Civil Guard has been carrying out for protection of the historical heritage.

The general director stressed that the Civil Guard is fully committed to the defense of our heritage, including it as one of its most relevant lines of work within its institutional strategy, highlighting it as a priority area in the 2020-2024 strategic plan.

The Civil Guard, explained María Gámez, works from different areas and units in the projection of historical artistic heritage. With the territorial units in preventive work; with the Seprona acting mainly in the archaeological heritage; the maritime service protecting the underwater archaeological heritage, also the fiscal service preventing the illicit export of all kinds of cultural goods and, of course, the judicial police units of both the commanderies and the specialized UCO with the Historical Heritage Group.

María Gámez has highlighted the importance of national coordination between the Security Forces and Bodies and the State administrations for the protection of historical artistic heritage, as well as international collaboration. For this reason, the general director recalled that “the Civil Guard works hand in hand with Interpol, Europol, police agencies such as the FBI and since 2013 we have a Civil Guard Officer accredited to UNESCO as the permanent link regarding the protection of Cultural Heritage and the prosecution of illicit trafficking in cultural property ”.

The Director General has provided some information about this work as an example:

122 operations carried out in the last 5 years in which 337 people have been arrested / investigated.
90,000 intervened cultural assets of which 86,000 are archaeological objects.

Operation Bembézar

This operation took place in Espiel (Córdoba), where a person was arrested as an alleged perpetrator of crimes against historical heritage, for looting sites, receiving and misappropriating archaeological pieces.
This person would have put for sale since 2015 on an internet portal, approximately 2,000 lots of archaeological pieces, made up of more than 6,000 archaeological objects, among which they find Roman, Iberian, Arab and Visigothic coins, fibulae, earrings, ceramics, lead of Iberian origin, lead sling projectiles, Visigoth buckles, spears, arrows, swords and other medieval weapons dating from the end of Prehistory to the Islamic period.
The Civil Guard began the investigations last September after detecting on an internet page for the purchase / sale of collector's items, an offer of more than 700 archaeological pieces.
The researchers estimate that the detainee could have obtained, through internet commerce, a profit of about 6,000 euros during the year 2020 and more than 40,000 euros.
In the search carried out at the home of the detainee, it was possible to recover more than 2,200 pieces of incalculable historical value, dated chronologically from the end of Prehistory to the Islamic period, originating from terrestrial archaeological plunder and / or the purchase of cultural property through the market illicit.
Likewise, a work area was located in the house in which cleaning work was being carried out on the extracted pieces and a detector was also intervened to search for metals, along with a pick for extraction.
These recovered archaeological pieces come from people who are dedicated to the search for archaeological remains using metal detecting machines, known in archaeological slang as "piteros", they locate an area with archaeological interest and extract the pieces by digging in the archaeological site causing damage and a great irreversible loss of information in the sites, since they do not use any archaeological method to guarantee the conservation of the site's strata.
The operation has been developed by the judicial police team of the Civil Guard of Peñarroya-Pueblonuevo (Córdoba), in collaboration with the Territorial Delegation for Development, Infrastructure and Land Management, Culture and Historical Heritage of the Junta de Andalucía in Córdoba.

Operation Ponderosa

Last September the Civil Guard detected and intervened 66 old coins of different periods and sizes, among which there were some from the Roman and Islamic times that were for sale on a website. For this fact, its owner, a neighbor of the town of Pedro Abad (Córdoba), has been investigated and denounced for putting specially protected archaeological pieces (coins) up for sale.
The effects and archaeological pieces intervened, have been transferred to the Archaeological Museum of Córdoba, for their study, assessment and dating, by the competent Authority in Historical Heritage.
The operation has been developed by the Nature Protection Service of the Civil Guard of the Córdoba Command.
To confirm or expand information, you can contact the Peripheral Communication Office of the Civil Guard of Córdoba, telephone 957 414111, ext. 2222.

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