The Italian Almanac

old money

Old Money

A pair of carpenters are in hot water after trying to make a fortune from a treasure trove of Medieval coins they found by chance at a worksite on the outskirts of Piacenza. Having verified the authenticity and value of the 635 pieces, instead of reporting them to the authorities, they tried to sell them to Italian and foreign collectors and traders for around one million euros. But traces of the efforts to sell the find via Internet were detected by Milan tax police, who tracked the duo down and seized the coins.

The pair have been charged with illegal appropriation of archaeological goods belonging to the state. The trove includes a set of silver pieces minted by the Milan House of Visconti, Republic of Pisa pieces and money from other Italian cities dating from between the 12th and 15th centuries and in excellent condition.

The police said they will now be put in the hands of a museum so that everyone can admire them.