Costa Rica archaeologists in awe as Brooklyn Museum returns 1,305 artifacts


A detail of a pre-Columbian pot, repatriated from the Brooklyn Museum in New York, U.S., is pictured at the facilities of the Costa Rica's National Museum, in Pavas, Costa Rica July 2, 2021. Picture taken July 2, 2021. REUTERS/Mayela Lopez

SAN JOSE (Reuters) - An unfinished tombstone, a large ceramic vase painted with beeswax, human representations and ancient tools to process corn are artifacts of a collection of 1,305 pieces that have been returned to Costa Rica.

It is the second time the Brooklyn Museum in New York City has returned pieces, some older than 2,000 years, to the central American country.

Tycoon Minor Keith brought the artifacts, looted during the construction of a railway, to the United States in the 19th or early 20th century, along with shipments of bananas.

Archaeologists in Costa Rica have been in awe since the artifacts arrived at the end of last year.

"The tombstone is a piece we have only seen as illustrations in study books here," Daniela Meneses, a researcher at the National Museum of Costa Rica, said at a viewing for the media. "It's amazing to see that piece now. It's very emotional."

It is believed to have been part of a tomb of an important person from a now-extinct civilization.

At almost half a meter high, one of the largest pieces in the shipment is a vase, presumably used to store seeds or water; it is adorned with human figures and peculiar geometric lines, painted with beeswax.

There are still more artifacts from Costa Rica in Brooklyn and in other museums in the United States.

But archaeologist Javier Fallas of the state museum highlighted the return as an extraordinary gesture: "We don't know why they did it, but it's something very good and atypical in the world."

Seven years ago, four sites in the southern part of the country were recognized as World Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

(Reporting by Alvaro Munrillo; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by William Mallard)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In World

Jordan to fully reopen main crossing with Syria this week
Activists urge UN to investigate alleged Taliban crimes
Armed men kill at least 30 in northern Nigerian villages
Bandits kill 22 Nigerian security personnel, local politician says
Russia's Navalny nominated for EU rights prize
Jailed Belarusian opponent Kolesnikova wins European rights award
La Palma volcano spurts again as lava nears the sea
British truckers: Life on the road with people smugglers, fuel thieves and few toilets
Two Polish regions repeal 'LGBT-free' declarations
New Austrian anti-lockdown party seeking more seats after election coup

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers