ROME - Agence France-Presse
A bronze lion’s head and a suit of armour have been found in the sea off the coast of the Calabria region in southern Italy, Italian media reported, citing the scuba divers who found them.
The sculpture, which weighs around 15 kilos (33 pounds), was found by two divers last Thursday, said a report in local daily Il Quotidiano di Calabria.
A third diver found the armour stuck in some underwater rocks nearby.
“We think these are objects of value. The important thing is that they are looked after. This is a great discovery for the whole of Calabria,” Bruno Bruzzaniti, one of the divers, was quoted by the ANSA news agency as saying.
Local coast guards have banned all shipping, fishing and bathing in the area while a formal search gets under way, while local police are investigating how exactly the discovery occurred and why it was apparently reported so late.
The police said the objects had not yet been handed over to the authorities.
An expert cited by Il Quotidiano di Calabria said the artefacts were probably from a Greek
or Phoenician ship that sank in the area.
The area where the objects were found is close to Riace, where two ancient Greek
bronze statues of warriors were recovered 40 years ago in a near-perfect state of conservation. The sculptures dated back to the fifth century BC.