Attempt to smuggle centuries-old gospel books fails
Serbian Customs officers have prevented an attempt to smuggle two 17th and 18th century books of Gospel across the Horgos border crossing.Source: Beta
A 47-year-old Greek citizen, who works as a cook in Vienna, Austria - where he was headed - was found in possession of the objects, the Customs Administration announced on Monday.
The man was a passenger on a bus that entered Serbia from Bulgaria and was leaving the country across the northern border with Hungary. None of the passengers had anything to declare, but when the Customs officers searched their baggage, they found the two Gospels, dating back to 1671 and 1780.
The passenger said that he was taking the books to Vienna, and that he was unaware he should have declared them when entering Serbia, in order to be able to take them out of the country.
The Customs stressed in a statement carried by Beta that travelers carrying works of art or those having cultural value must have adequate permits issued by the country from which the objects are being removed.
"Due to the specific nature of the case, the authenticity and the value of the books will be determined only after an expert analysis," the Customs said.