Amateur thieves steal 160kg sphinx

ROME-Etruscan sphinx stolen by three burglars with their bare hands in Cerveteri, which later this summer is due to host the Kylix Euphronios.

The statue, not much taller than a metre, is from the first Etruscan period and was discovered 40 years ago during the excavation of the Greppe Sant’Angelo zone and ever since has been kept in the courtyard next to the location of the stewards.

According to police footage two men with balaclavas casually entered the courtyard, the home of the Etruscan sphinx. The two men tried to raise the sphinx with their bare hands but had to surrender shortly after their failed attempt-had the sphinx escaped the kidnapping?

It appeared not. After midday the thieves returned with a third member to join the action. Together they hoisted the statue and eased it onto the trolley before escaping through a hole in the fence. To celebrate their tremendous victory it would appear that the three burglars stopped to pose with the Sphinx as they took a selfie.

The robbery was noticed the following morning by the security guards of l’Eturia meidionale after which it was quickly reported to the police.

The recent theft questions the quality of security inside the Necropoli di Cerveteri, who are hosting il cratere di Eufronio at the end of summer.

Many times in the past there have been complaints about the lack of staff-according to sources, between il Museo Nazionale Caerite, located in the city and la Banditaccia, on the outskirts, there are never more than three members of staff on duty, a shockingly low number considering there are over ten acres to cover.

Sources say it’s difficult to calculate the exact value of the stolen sphinx, which by now is probably headed towards a private exhibition in Italy or abroad.