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Tag: culture

HSI Returns Nearly 300 Pre-Columbia Artifacts to Mexican Officials

One of the recovered artifacts. Photo courtesy of Homeland Security.

By Steve Neavling

Homeland Security Investigations returned nearly 300 pre-Columbia artifacts to Mexican officials this week during a repatriation ceremony at the Mexican Consulate in Nogales. 

The 277 pieces included arrow heads, axe heads, hammer heads, spear heads and small stone carvings that were between 1,000 and 5,000 years old and “of significant cultural value,” HSI said in a news release.

The repatriation follows two separate HSI investigations by special agents in Phoenix and Nogales. 

Scott Brown, special agent in charge of HSI Phoenix, presented the relics to Ricardo Santana, Mexican consul general ambassador in Nogales, and Jose Luis Perea, director of the Mexican Institute for Anthropology and History (INAH) in Sonora.

“The cultural significance of artifacts from regions around the world extends beyond any monetary value,” Brown said. “The pieces, like those discovered, are fragments of history; and it is an honor to return them to their rightful home country. HSI fully supports the importance of antiquities and cultural property, and it is through these repatriations that new generations are able to experience a part of their nation’s story.”

Perara said the timing was culturaly significant. 

“This repatriation comes at an opportune time, in the year of a very significant commemoration for Mexico – the 500th anniversary of the taking of Tenochtitlan, which was a heartrending encounter between the cultural universes of Western Europe and America,” Perea said. “This event allows us to deeply recognize the pre-Hispanic cultures of Mexico, as well as the resistance and presence of its contemporary indigenous peoples.”

HSI conducts investigations for the Department of Homeland Security. Among its roles is investigating thefts of cultural property. 

FBI’s Art Crime Team Recovered Record Number of Stolen Items in Second Half of 2015

ArtCrimeTeamLogo1-300x280By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s Art Crime Team reported a record number of art and cultural items were returned to their rightful owners in the second half of the year, Courthouse News Service reports. 

The New York-based Art Crime Team was created in 2004 and currently has 16 agents assigned to it.

Since then, the team has recovered more than 2,650 art and cultural items with a value of more than $150 million.

The team has been especially successful in the second half of this year, recovering items such as a Chilean tapestry stolen from a house in Chile and the “Bark Washington” painting that was stolen in 2001.

The FBI compiles a Stolen Art Database.

Other Stories of Interest

1975 Video Shows How Extensively FBI Investigated Black Culture in 1960s

A 1975 video shows how extensively the FBI investigated African Americans in the 1960s.

The video features an interview with Darthard Perry, a former FBI agent, who said the bureau examined every aspect of black culture, from music to books.

“To understand the people, you have to understand culture,” Perry said in the video.