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Spain returns pre-Columbian artifacts

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Created on Thursday, 29 October 2015 15:03
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 October 2015 15:03

Spain returns to Ecuador Wednesday 49 pre-Columbian artifacts recovered by police in 2003 following an investigation into money laundering during a ceremony at the Museum of America in Madrid, where they had remained guarded.

The works are part of a collection of 885 pieces that were taken over from a Colombian marriage in 2003 as a result of the operation called Florence, where a Colombian family clan, based in Spain, dedicated to drug trafficking and money laundering was dismantled.

A bleaching methods used by the organization was the purchase of works of art, such as those included in the collection seized more than a decade ago, which had been bought in the 1990s in different stores purchase and sale of art and exported Colombia illegally.

The expert studies on the collection of works determined that they had "an exceptional value, both culturally and economically to be kept in an almost perfect state and represent almost all the pre-Columbian cultures," according to a statement from the Spanish police.

The majority of artifacts were returned Wednesday to Ecuador, and are made of ceramic, covering virtually the entire time range of the cultures of Ecuador and mainly represent shamans, characters with ceremonial robes and women praying. "It was imperative for our country to recover these pieces "to rescue" our historic identity and well fight the illegal trafficking of cultural heritage," said Ecuador's ambassador in Madrid, Miguel Calahorrano, at the ceremony held in Museum of America, the presence of the director general of the Spanish police, Ignacio Cosidó.

Before the delivery of these 49 works, Spain returned last year about 700 pieces and Colombia were identified among the 885 works seized five pieces from Panama, while the rest were considered fakes.

Courtesy: Diario Uno