French Couple Arrested in Spain for Looting Archeological Site

The site contains ancient Greek and Roman ruins, and a small museum. Photo:
The theft took place at the Empuries archaeological site in northeastern Catalonia, Spain. Photo:

The Empúries archaeological site in northeastern Catalonia, Spain.

Spanish police have arrested a French couple for allegedly stealing a number of artifacts from a site of Greek and Roman ruins in Catalonia.

Officers were alerted when they noticed a suspiciously parked vehicle on a dirt road that led to the back of the Empúries archaeological site, just outside the town of L’Escala.

The perpetrators where sitting inside the vehicle, which contained two metal detectors, two picks, and other tools.

“Given where they were, the officers searched the vehicle and the two occupants. They found tools used in archaeological excavations,” police explained in a statement on Thursday.

The site contains ancient Greek and Roman ruins, and a small museum. Photo:

The site contains ancient Greek and Roman ruins, and a small museum.

“They also found several coins, brooches, and other metal objects covered in rust and earth in the pair’s clothes,” the statement continued.

According to AFP, evidence of digging was found in the area. Police said they counted 33 holes in the ground, many of which appeared to have been excavated recently.

The 47-year-old woman and 31-year-old man, both French nationals, were arrested and charged with theft and crimes against historical heritage.

The Empúries archaeological site includes the ruins of several Greek temples, and is also home to a Roman amphitheater, and two Roman villas. The site also houses a small museum about Greek and Roman heritage.

Related stories:

Clumsy Tourist Trips and Smashes 4,000-Year-Old Greek Vase

American Tourists Face High Fine for Vandalizing Rome’s Colosseum

US Tourists Steal Pompeii Artifact

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