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Monday, April 22 2019 @ 08:30 AM UTC

Authorities Recover 150 Historical Artifacts

History & ReferenceAn archaeological collection of 150 pieces was recovered Wednesday by the National Direction of Historical Heritage, after finding that the person who had the objects was offering them for sale via the Internet. The seizure of the pieces - some of which date from 300 BC and others from 1,400 AD - occurred in the Capital after a citizen complaint alerted authorities about the marketing of the historical artifacts. The Criminal Code provides for penalties of five to seven years in prison for those who are engaged in this illegal activity.

In this case, the Deputy Attorney General has two Panamanians and one Colombian under investigation, who were detained while the search was conducted, said the director of Heritage, Sandra Cerrud. The recovery of the pieces by the authorities represents an exceptional historical value, because they correspond to the local history of different Panamanian cultures, as announced at the press conference. However, they clarified that on the black market the smuggling of these objects has a value exceeding $200,000.

Cerrud explained the illegality, saying that "you can collect antiquities, but not to sell them. The pieces are owned by the state and the collector only serves as the custodian of the same. Moreover, each of these parts must be inventoried so that, via a resolution, the permit can be granted." The Director of Historical Heritage explained that this collection dates back more than 25 years, and due to the volume of the collection, they are considering "a short term project to reopen the Museum Reina Torres de Arauz, and the display the jewelry and gold."

In the group of recovered objects, it is presumed there were pieces of gold that were sold before the raid was conducted. About the origin of the pieces, anthropologists determined that they come from the regions of Greater Chiriquí and Gran Cocle, defined through the archaeological map of Panama. The design and painting of the parts allows professionals to identify their origin. "Their identification is done through the anthropological literature, that allows us to clarify what period they corresponded," said anthropologist Yamitzel Gutierrez. (Panama America)

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