Antique treasure seized at Polish border

Polish authorities seize unique Bronze-age adornments. Photo: PAP/Artur Reszko

Polish authorities seize hundreds of 18th-century Russian coins and unique Bronze-age adornments, donate them to museum.

Polish customs officials have confiscated close to 700 coins dating back to the 18th century. In addition, 40 pieces of jewelry were also seized at the border with Belarus. The artefacts were confiscated during two separate smuggling attempts in the spring and summer of last year.

The finds, which in accordance with the law became the property of Poland’s National Revenue Administration, have recently been passed on to the Podlachia Museum in Białystok, northeastern Poland.

All of the pieces originated in territories of modern-day Russia.

The antique bracelets – the oldest items – are said to date back as far as 3,500 years. The bracelets embellished with semi-precious stones are said to be of Scythian origin. The Scythians were nomadic people of Eurasia who inhabited the grasslands north of the Black Sea from the 9th up until the 1st century BC.

The collection of 700 coins will be the largest collection of this kind in the Bialystok’s museum.

It is not the first time that Polish customs officers prevented the illegal transfer of antiquities across the country’s eastern border. In 2016, a collection of military artefacts dating back to the 9th century was also seized.