Back in the middle of January, Greek archaeologist Christos Tsirogiannis prevented the illicit sale of a valuable antiquity sarcophagus in New York City. Today, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and assistant DA Matthew Bogdanos will deliver to Consul General of Greece in New York Dr. Constantine Koutras.

The ancient object came from the illegal collection of Italian antiquities smuggler Gianfranco Becchina, seized by the Italian and Swiss authorities. Under mysterious circumstances, the sarcophagus, which was stolen from Greece, ended up in one of the largest antiques galleries in the world. Tsirogiannis located the antiquity at the New York gallery.

The Consul General told the National Herald that he is honored to represent the Hellenic Republic by signing the protocol to receive the sarcophagus and initiate the repatriation process. Koutras emphasized that:

"[...]the return of the sarcophagus is a big and significant step in the efforts of Greece and Hellenism worldwide for the return of the Parthenon Marbles and all other Greek antiquities illegally detained in galleries and museums abroad."

At the same time, the consul general expressed his gratitude to District Attorneys Vance and Bogdanos who not only seized the sarcophagus, but will deliver it in the presence of U.S. media including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, as well as television networks.
It should be noted that Bogdanos, who is of Greek origin, is also an author and a colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. He is a historical treasure hunter and played a significant role in the rescue of the Baghdad museum treasures.

In August 2014, Bogdanos handed to the then ambassador of Greece in Washington Christos Panagopoulos five antiquities that were repatriated and now exhibited at the Numismatic Museum of Athens.