The Costa Rican embassy in Spain recovered two archeological pieces this year, only to have them go missing during a renovation of the diplomatic offices.
According to Costa Rican Ambassador Melvin Sáenz, the pieces – a pre-Columbian pot and a stone sculpture – were in the custody of the embassy waiting to be transferred back to Costa Rica. They were recovered from Madrid’s Museo de America in July, during a campaign to recover archeological items that had been taken from the country illegally.
At one time, they formed part of the “Colección Patterson,” a collection of 1,500 pieces belonging to Costa Rican Leonardo Patterson, who resides in Germany. He is accused of illegally trafficking the two recovered pieces along with 498 other Costa Rican artifacts.
After the items went missing, Sáenz filed a formal complaint on Sept. 24 before the Office of Urban and Environmental Affairs in Madrid.
The case remains under investigation.