- Associated Press - Thursday, February 23, 2012

ATHENS, GREECE (AP) - Greece’s Culture Ministry says it is taking extra security measures at museums across the country after two major thefts in as many months netted antiquities and paintings by 20th-century masters.

The ministry said Thursday that a task force set up to review security at museums and archaeological sites recommended increasing surveillance at archaeological museums, improving guard training and upgrading closed-circuit TV and fire detection systems.

Last Friday, two armed robbers broke into a museum in ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games, making off with 76 bronze and pottery artifacts dating from the 14th to the 4th centuries B.C. and a 3,200-year-old gold ring.

In January, burglars snatched paintings by Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondrian from the National Gallery in Athens.


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