12:47 May. 14, 2016
Medieval sword, smuggled from Ukraine, was arrested at the Estonia-Russia border
On May 13, the International airport Boryspil welcomed the representatives of the Ukrainian official delegation who arrived from Estonia, bringing back the stolen sword.
Some time ago, 'black archaeologists' dug out the 10th century Viking sword in the Volyn region (western Ukraine) and smuggled it out of Ukraine. They tried to bring the unique weapon across to Russia, by the end of last year.
In winter 2016, Estonian customs officials discovered the medieval sword hidden in a car at the Estonia-Russia border. The car owner - a Belarusian driver - did not have any documents for transporting such a rarity.
The smugglers claimed that the Scandinavian sword came from northern Russia, but they failed to confirm their claim. However, Estonian law enforcement officers were happy with the evidence provided by Ukraine and therefor they transported the sword by air back to the country.
Its auction price is EUR 17,000. It is still unknown who the ancient sword belonged to. It was sent for examination and restoration under the working title 'Viking Sword'.
Afterwards, the discovery will be submitted to Ukraine's State Museum Fund.
"The sword is most likely to have been decorated with silver. That is, it should have belonged to a high rank person - to some Viking, not a simple soldier", says Maksym Levada, researcher of the Ukrainian Centre for Cultural Studies.
This is the second time during this week the 10th-centrury artefacts are returned in Ukraine. A few days ago, Ukraine got back an ancient lead seal, which reportedly belonged to Svyatoslav Igorovich, the Prince of Kyivan Rus'.