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Ex-museum director sentenced to prison for counterfeiting antique coins

old gold coins antique coins
(Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — The Court of Cassation upheld a decision by the Amman Court of Appeals to imprison a former Department of Public Antiquities museum director for five years. He was convicted of replacing 5,972 antique coins with fake ones. اضافة اعلان

Of the coins, 1,249 were gold, 4,478 were silver, and 245 were bronze, Al-Ghad News reported.

The value of the original coins was estimated at $1 million. The court fined the defendant a sum equaling the value of coins, in addition to trial expenses and any other expenses.

The former official was charged with a felony of embezzlement, and a misdemeanor of counterfeiting and falsifying antiquities.

According to the court, the accused was the director of the Jordanian Antiquities Museum at Jabal Al-Qalaa (the Citadel), where the coins were held.

HistoryPreviously, a French archaeologist submitted a report to the Department of Antiquities stating that some Ptolemaic Greek silver coins that he had discovered at the Iraq Al-Amir site in 1993 were replaced and forged.

The archaeologist found out the coins were forged when he bought students to Jordan to show them his discovery.

After the authorities were informed, a committee was formed by the Minister of Tourismand Antiquities to investigate the coins of Iraq al-Amir. They confirmed that 315 Ptolemaic Greek silver coins in the custody of the accused were all replaced with fake ones except for one.

The committee submitted its report in December 2015.

Later it was found that 73 Byzantine gold coins were discovered at another site in Abdoun in 1996. The coins were also in the custody of the accused and were forged and replaced by metal coins.

The total amount of coins seized by the accused from the Jordan Antiquities Museum and their estimated value were based on a committee report at the request of the Public Prosecutor of the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission.

The committee made an inventory of the artifacts, and it was found that some of the missing coins from the Jordan Antiquities Museum were sold outside the country.

One such artifact is a golden ring, which after further investigation was found to have been taken to Israel and from there to Germany, where it was sold during an auction held in Munich, in December 2018, for 23,000 euros.


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