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- Photos via National Museum -

Pre-Hispanic artifacts returned to Costa Rica from U.S.

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Published on Wednesday, March 13, 2024
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The National Museum received 395 pre-Hispanic ceramic archaeological artifacts that had been kept at three Costa Rican diplomatic facilities in the United States, including Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington, DC.

The collection had been held in a secure vault overseen by Costa Rican consulates for over ten years.

Shipping the artifacts cost around $42,000, which was paid for by the Parque Metropolitano La Libertad Foundation and the National Museum of Costa Rica, with assistance from the U.S. government through its consulate.

The pieces were identified by museum archaeologists who specialize in the study of the human past through material remains.

The artifacts made by the earliest peoples of Costa Rica before the landing of the Spanish colonizers in the 16th century. The collection includes tiny and medium-sized musical instruments, stone human figures, ceramic containers, tools, pottery fragments, and a massive stone sphere, among others. The relics are considered to be more than 2,000 thousand years old.

"Our two nations share a common belief about the importance of preserving and celebrating our unique histories," said Cynthia Telles, U.S. ambassador. "By returning these relics, we commemorate the ancestors who created them, as well as the generations who have preserved and fostered their history. We appreciate the worth of these artifacts as more than just items since they represent an essential component of the Costa Rican identity."

The National Museum today houses these centuries-old, high-value objects as part of the country's archeological heritage.

Since 1986, Costa Rica has returned 3,560 archeological artifacts from other countries in America and Europe, authorities added.

Have you seen any of the pre-Columbian collections in Costa Rican museums?
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


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