23 April 2024

In a significant development, the Carabinieri’s Heritage Protection Unit in Venice has returned two invaluable Mesoamerican archaeological artifacts to the Museum of Civilizations in Rome. This restitution sheds light on the critical role initiatives like the AURORA Project could play in preventing such incidents in the future.

Among the returned treasures is a gold pendant from the Gran Cocle culture of Panama (650-1520 AD), depicting two warriors. Also returned is a terracotta figurine from the Nayarit culture of northwestern Mexico (100 BC – 300 AD). These artifacts were seized following diligent investigations by the Venetian Carabinieri TPC.

This case underscores the importance of concerted efforts to combat illicit trafficking of cultural property. By leveraging technology, collaboration, and international partnerships, the global community can work towards protecting and preserving cultural heritage worldwide, preventing future incidents like this from occurring.

Read the Italian Government announcement.

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