Swiss to give Greeks back BC-era silver coin

Athens has asked Switzerland to return a 480 BC silver coin sold in a Zurich auction for €80,000 ($102,000), a newspaper reported on Monday.

The silver drachma, showing a soldier and a horse on one face and bearing a royal seal on the other, was put on sale and the Greek police were alerted by an anonymous letter in September 2009, the daily Ta Nea said.

Greek authorities contacted Swiss officials, who have ensured the coin will be returned, it said.

The coins passed through several hands — notably offshore companies — before landing up in Zurich. A Geneva-based art dealer, who has been convicted for handling smuggled antiques in the past, is suspected of involvement, it said.

Greece and Italy have stepped up a drive to retrieve smuggled antiques from overseas and foreign museums.

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