By Duncan Mackay

Archaeological Museum of Olympia insideNovember 26 - Greek police have recovered all 76 artifacts stolen from the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, the birthplace of the Ancient Olympics, earlier this year, they have announced. 

Three people have been arrested in connection with the armed robbery on February 17 when two masked raiders smashed display cabinets and took the objects after overpowering a Museum guard.

The three men were arrested in the western Greek city of Patras, close to Ancient Olympia.

They were arrested after they tried to sell the most ancient of the antiquities, a golden seal-ring dating from the late Bronze Age, about 3,200 years ago, for an initial asking price of €1 million (£809,000/$1.3 million) before dropping it to €300,000 (£243,000/$389,000), to undercover police.

The other items were found buried in a field two miles from the Museum.

"The discovery and arrest of the perpetrators of the robbery and the recovery of the stolen items are a great success," said Kostas Tzavaras, Greece's Culture Minister.

Archaeological Museum of OlympiaPolice recovered the stolen artifacts from the Archaeological Museum of Olympia after an undercover operation

Besides the gold ring, other stolen treasures include bronze statuette of a victorious athlete, a 2,400-year-old oil jar, clay lamps, bronze tripods and miniature chariot wheels, as well as dozens of idols of charioteers, horses and bulls.

"All the items were recovered," said the Culture Ministry's general secretary, Lina Mendoni.

"Next week they will regain their place at the Museum."

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