Looting of ancient Roman city near Danube - BTV

While in Sofia completed a project for uncovering of the central Roman street, along the riverbank of Danube a Roman city, comparable in brilliance to Serdica, continues to plundering impunity. Ancient Ratiaria is located on the Danube between Vidin and Lom. After years of treasure-hunters work with tractors and explosions the terrain resemble a construction waste landfill. But the stones are remains of 2000 years old buildings. Among these brigades with metal detectors and shovels dig for coins.

The motivation of the treasure hunters is so great that even in the frozen earth they dig such a big holes. Local villagers claimed before archaeologists that they earn with the shovels 1 Euro per day. Meanwhile, Bulgaria is losing wealth for hundreds of millions.

"The condition of the site is simply a shame. It is become a local Klondike - a source of treasures that are dug impunity and are exported abroad" said the archaeologist Krassimira Luka.

According to the archaeologist since cultural layers have already been destroyed, at least the buildings can be revealed. She argues that the colony Ratiaria is comparable with Serdica, but unlike it is not located in a modern city and can be fully explored. These elements from the 2nd century were discovered last summer and are exposed in front of police in the village Archar.

"Perhaps the question is about something spectacular, which we going to find the next season - it's just harvested from the surface," said Krassimira Luka. In the local community center this year is made an exhibition - to inform the local residents, because many years the site has been plundered by them.

The archaeologists rely that if the local people understand what they have, this will help to save the site. In the Strategic Plan for the development of the cultural tourism, however Vidin is missing.