April 8, 2014 | Al Jazeera English
A precious statue vanished after its discovery in Gaza last summer and many suspect it is now a hostage to politics.
DEIR AL-BALAH, GAZA: Last summer, a life-size bronze statue of Apollo, the ancient Greek god of light and music, miraculously surfaced in Gaza. The work of art, which is 1.7 metres tall and weighs 450 kilograms, could be worth as much as $340m, according to Gaza's antiquities authority.
But it has since vanished from the public eye - and experts fear that the roughly 2,500-year-old statue could be lost or damaged forever as it has become hostage to a political dispute.
"It was a Friday and I went to fish," said fisherman Jawdat Abu Ghrab of how he discovered the statue. Standing on a cliff near the Gaza town of Deir Al-Balah, he pointed to the sea beneath him. "I discovered the area was full of rocks. I thought I would try and explore it - maybe I could find fish. But suddenly I discovered something in the water. I saw something buried in sand - one arm was raised. I was shocked because it looked like a human."