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HomeArts & CultureCosta Rica National Museum Recovers 33 Pre-Columbian Pieces

Costa Rica National Museum Recovers 33 Pre-Columbian Pieces

Thirty-three pre-Columbian ceramic pieces were brought to Costa Rica and given back
to the National Museum last Tuesday, December 13.

Small and medium-sized pots, musical instruments, human figurines, censers, and
ceramic fragments were transported back to the country.

The shipment had been in a storage room at the BICSA Bank for almost ten years,
under the custody of the Costa Rican Consulate in Miami, awaiting repatriation.

“Bringing them back was hard. The appraisal cost ₡2,275,000, and we also had to pay
insurance; the Museum had no budget. We were able to do this thanks to the help of
the administrative the Ministry of Culture and Youth, the collaboration of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, the donation of Carlos Badilla of the Ocean Logistics Company and the
National Insurance Institute,” explained Ifigenia Quintanilla, director of the National

Nayuribe Guadamuz Rosales, Minister of Culture and Youth, highlighted the effort of
those involved.

“We are pleased to announce that these pieces are back in Costa Rica. It has been a
joint work between different entities.

The pieces are an invaluable treasure that we hope will soon be part of the exhibitions offered by the Museum to the public so that we can learn about their origins, materials, uses, among other very relevant aspects of these artifacts,” she commented.

In 2020, the institutions attempted to bring these pieces back; unfortunately, it was
unsuccessful. Then, in March 2022, BICSA closed its offices and returned the pieces to
the consulate. Andrea Arroyo and Patricia Ugalde, consulate officials, arranged their

According to Museum’s archaeological experts, the pieces are from the Central
archaeological region.

These objects are now part of the national archaeological heritage, and the next step is
to register them in the Museum’s databases to catalog and study them. The Museum
confirmed that some of these objects will be used in future exhibitions.

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