• Cielo Vista

Thousands of pre-Columbian artifacts returning to Costa Rica

April 27, 2017

The first batch of more than 4,500 pre-Columbian artifacts unearthed in Costa Rica have returned after a 77-year stay at the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

In an attempt to have the world’s largest collection, the Brooklyn Museum gathered thousands of artifacts from around the world. The Costa Rican pieces belong to the Keith Collection, a mass of artifacts accumulated by Minor Keith, an American businessman and Brooklyn native who donated the pieces in 1934 after a long and prosperous career in Costa Rica’s railroad and fruit industries.

Curators at the Brooklyn Museum are minimizing inventory by returning pieces to their countries of origin. While the pieces may have been excess in New York, Costa Rica National Museum director Cristian Kandler explained the significance they hold here.

“Indigenous societies continue to be a great unknown. The northern zone is almost forgotten. The southern zone is largely unknown when in fact the natives in Talamanca resisted the Spaniards, their tactics and attempts at colonization,” Kandler told The Tico Times.

The returning pieces will arrive in three stages over the course of three years. About 300 pieces from the Keith Collection will remain in Brooklyn.

Acquiring the pieces from Brooklyn was easy but packaging and shipping them proved troublesome. Attempts were made to raise the necessary $59,000 from the public before the National Insurance Institute stepped in and donated $88,000 for the relocation. The first shipment consists of 981 pieces and arrived on September 19.

“Here we have a lack of information about our indigenous history,” Kandler said. “This collection will help educate Costa Ricans and the world about our past.”

The exhibit will open October 20 and run for six weeks. An arrival date for the next shipment of artifacts has not been determined.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Letters from the trail: Hiking the Camino de Costa Rica (Part 2)
Costa Rica
635 views
Costa Rica
635 views

Letters from the trail: Hiking the Camino de Costa Rica (Part 2)

Garry Wallace - June 20, 2019

Earlier this year, we told you about Camino de Costa Rica, a 280-km hike from Costa Rica's Atlantic to its…

From Río San Juan to San José: A Nicaraguan refugee in Costa Rica tells his story
Nicaragua
119 views
Nicaragua
119 views

From Río San Juan to San José: A Nicaraguan refugee in Costa Rica tells his story

Jacob Spetzler - June 20, 2019

Nelson Jesus Zeas Paz was late, a consequence of the infamous San José traffic. When he arrived, he walked quickly…

Costa Rica 101: Using your cell phone in Costa Rica
Costa Rica 101
226 views
Costa Rica 101
226 views

Costa Rica 101: Using your cell phone in Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - June 20, 2019

One of the better parts of any vacation is disconnecting from the rest of the world. But whether it’s for…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!