A 26-year-old of Cypriot origin was arrested in Athens after trying to remove pieces of stone and marble from the Acropolis as souvenirs.

Greek media reported that the young man was spotted by a guard at 9:50pm on Sunday night, with the alleged thief removing pieces from the ancient site.

The guard then immediately reported the incident to police who arrested the 26-year-old based on the guard’s claims.

Police found the man to have a knife in his possession, with the suspect now facing charges of violating the antiquities protection laws and for weapons possession.

Other media outlets ran headlines which described the 26-year-old as a modern “Elgin”, in reference to Thomas Bruce, the seventh Earl of Elgin. Between 1801 and 1812 Elgin oversaw the removal of the marbles from the Parthenon and other locations – earning them the nickname “The Elgin Marbles”, which are controversially still held by the British museum in London.