|A very rare Thracian-Roman mask helmet made of iron and silver, which was stolen in a brazen museum robbery in 1995, and was recovered by the Bulgarian intelligence in 2015, has now been restored and showcased at the Plovdiv Museum of Archaeology. The mask helmet, which is dated to the 1st century AD, was discovered in 1905 and is one of three known to exist.|
Treasure hunting and illegal trafficking of antiques have been rampant in Bulgaria after the collapse of the communism regime in 1989.
|The mask helmet consists of a helmet made of iron and decorated with a silver laurel wreath, and a mask covering the face and the ears which is made of a thin sheet of silver. It was made in Rome, and was worn at celebrations and parades. After the Roman Empire conquered all of Ancient Thrace in 46 AD, Thrace became a province; many Thracian aristocrats retained their status, and many Thracian soldiers served in the Roman legions.|