Illicit Trade of Greek Antiquities by Germans During Occupation, George Lekakis’s book about the theft of Greek ancient treasures during World War II, was presented in a bookstore in Thessaloniki on Dec. 14.
His work cites evidence derived from his long-term research in which Lekakis presents the original Official Report of the Greek State published in 1946, which is titled Damages of the Antiquities Due to the War and the Occupators.
“I did not refer to human losses, executions of civilians, kids, women and elders, which cannot be compensated by the Germans or anyone. We had 1,100,000 fellow countrymen during WW II, victims of the German brutality. In this book, I write only about the material losses, these that can be estimated,” said Lekakis.
According to his evidence, there are 8,500 stolen items (neolithic, ancient, belonging to churches, etc.), the value of which amounts to more than $1 trillion. The book focuses on valuable items, Greek cultural heritage pieces which have been destroyed or stolen and have been moved out of Greece illegally by Nazi Forces during the German Occupation.
The last chapter includes a detailed addendum with the legal status according to which, Greece can claim damages for the looting of its cultural heritage.