• Costa Rica Travel Insurance
  • Costa Rica Coffee Guide

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.

You may be interested

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Friday, August 7
Costa Rica
21818 views
Costa Rica
21818 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Friday, August 7

Alejandro Zúñiga - August 7, 2020

Costa Rica announced 18 new coronavirus-related deaths over the past day for a total of 218, according to official data…

News briefs: Government promises to adjust pandemic restrictions
Costa Rica
20767 views
Costa Rica
20767 views

News briefs: Government promises to adjust pandemic restrictions

Alejandro Zúñiga - August 7, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has transformed life in Costa Rica, which has enacted measures to protect the capacity of its health…

ECLAC projects 23% drop in exports in Latin America and the Caribbean due to pandemic
Latin America
1245 views
Latin America
1245 views

ECLAC projects 23% drop in exports in Latin America and the Caribbean due to pandemic

AFP - August 7, 2020

International trade in Latin America and the Caribbean could fall 23% in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus…