The police officers recovered a medieval sword which was damaged by its finder after discovering the weapon during earthworks in a gravel pit near Jasło, southeastern Poland.
The 48-year-old excavator operator picked up the sword from a water reservoir at the construction site. He took the find home and tried to straighten it, as the weapon was bent. Unfortunately, the sword broke and the man welded both parts of the blade.
Information about the sword and its photos were put on a website, where it drew the attention of a policeman from the Police Headquarters dealing with crimes against historical monuments. It was established that the announcement was posted by someone from the vicinity of Kraków, therefore the case was passed to the Provincial Police Headquarters. Further investigation revealed that the man who posted the information did it at the request of his friend from Jasło, who found the item during earthworks in March.
The item was secured by the conservator, who initially stated that it was a two-edged sword, dating from the fifteenth century. If the man had not tried to fix the sword and report his discovery, he might even have received a reward. Now, the unfortunate finder may face charges of destroying a historical monument.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Act on the Protection of Monuments and Guardianship of Monuments, a person who does not notify the proper organ about the discovery of a monument during construction or earthworks is liable to a fine.