Brooklyn Museum Returns 1,305 Ancient Artifacts To Costa Rica

July 4, 2021

A New York City museum has returned more than 1,300 ancient artifacts — some older than 2,000 years — to their country of origin.

artifacts returned to Costa Rica
Photo: REUTERS / Mayela Lopez

The Brooklyn Museum in New York City returned 1,305 pieces to Costa Rica, leaving Costa Rican archaeologists in awe.

According to Reuters, 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.

artifacts returned to Costa Rica
Photo: REUTERS / Mayela Lopez

The artifacts include an unfinished tombstone, a large ceramic vase painted with beeswax, human representations and ancient tools.

"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."

"We don't know why they did it, but it's something very good and atypical in the world," archaeologist Javier Fallas said.

Story credit: Alvaro Munrillo, Stefanie Eschenbacher, William Mallard / REUTERS

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