A PRICELESS vase dating from the second century BC has been seized by police after it was discovered during a routine search.

Officers arrested the owner of an antique shop after the artefact was discovered in a cardboard box at the property in El Campello.

The vase, described as been of ‘exceptional value’, had been stolen from an Iberian era archeological site in Alicante, according to an Interior Ministry spokesman.

The piece is decorated with a painting telling the story of a hunter who killed a wild boar, a rite of passage for youths at the time entering manhood.

“We are not yet aware of the full importance of this discovery, but in 20 years’ time we will still be talking about this vase,” said Jose Luis Simon, an expert from the cultural heritage service of the Ministry of Culture.

The antiquity has been moved to Alicante’s Archeological Museum.

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