It appears that a Palestinian fisherman has discovered an ancient, intact bronze statue of Apollo. He claims to have pulled it ashore last August in his nets, but police in the Gaza strip aren't so sure.
GAZA—A young fisherman claims to have pulled an intact bronze statue of the Greek god Apollo from the ocean last August. He says he then carried it in a donkey cart to the Gaza Strip, where two of its fingers were removed to try to determine the value of the metal, before the rare statue appeared for sale on the Internet. Police then seized the statue and are investigating its origins. Archaeologists who have seen photographs of the statue estimate it to be at least 2,000 years old, crafted sometime between the fifth and first centuries B.C. But they question the fisherman’s story. “This wasn’t found on the seashore or in the sea…it is very clean. No, it was [found] inland and dry,” Jean-Michel de Tarragon of the French Biblical and Archaeological School of Jerusalem told Reuters. “There is a feeling that they could find more and more [items] linked to the statue, more and more artifacts, so this is very sensitive,” he added.
See too the story in Today's Guardian.
A local fisherman says he scooped the 500kg (1,100lb) god from the seabed last August, and carried it home on a donkey cart, unaware of the significance of his catch.
Others soon guessed at its importance, and the statue briefly appeared on eBay with a $500,000 (£300,000) price tag - well below its true value. Police from the Islamist group Hamas, which rules the isolated Palestinian territory, swiftly seized it and say they are investigating the affair.
Archaeologists have not been able to get their hands on the Apollo – to their great frustration- and instead must pore over a few blurred photographs of the intact deity, who is laid out incongruously on a blanket emblazoned with Smurfs.From what they can tell, it was cast sometime between the 5th and the 1st century BC, making it at least 2,000 years old.