· Maya · News · Updates ·: 2007-05-27

Maya News Updates 2007, No. 32: Honduras - 279 Archaeological Objects Returned to Honduras

Today, Tuesday May 29, 2007, the online edition of the Honduran daily newspaper La Prensa reported on the return of 279 archaeological objects to Honduras. These objects probably belong to the Lenca culture, one of the cultures bordering the Maya in the southeast. Archaeological riches return

Archaeological wealth - A valuable batch of archaeological pieces was unpacked yesterday by the Honduran authorities, after being repatriated from the United States. The lot consists of 279 pieces of pre-Columbian art of incalculable value, dating from 800 to 900 years after Christ, from the Late Classic period. The US authorities were able to carry out the confiscation in a commercial establishment in Ohio, USA, where they were put up for sale to the public. After carrying out the legal procedures, the US government returned the archaeological art to the Embassy of Honduras in Washington.

The pieces were shipped to Miami, where the US trader filed a false customs declaration, stating that their value amounted to $ 37 and that they were replicas or souvenirs. The archaeological gems were put up for sale at the "Acento en pájaros" store, based in Columbus, Ohio, of which Douglas Hall was co-owner. In August 1998, Columbus Customs contacted the IHAh informing them that US authorities had seized the archeological objects in the store. To verify if the objects were of cultural heritage, Anthropology named the experts Edward Schortman and Urban Patricia.

Following the FBI's investigation, the Office of the Prosecutor for the Southern District of Ohio filed an indictment in 2002 of those involved in the illicit traffic in cultural heritage. During a US trial, Hall and Monterroso were convicted (source: La Prensa).

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