Saturday 23 November 2013

Peruvian Textile Smuggling Attempt Thwarted

Peruvian customs officials at Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport recently recovered four pre-Columbian textiles hidden in baggage as it was about to be loaded onto an international flight. The items ("a cloth fragment made of animal fiber with designs of birds colored black, pink and yellow ocher, two flared caps, decorated cotton textiles and a quantity of loose threads, also of pre-Columbian origin") were "in the Central Coast style” of the Late Intermediate period (c. 1100-1450), perhaps of the coastal Chancay or Itchma cultures. They were discovered hidden under framed, glass-covered family photos that were being sent to Spain. The consigner is still at large. No information is given about whether the textiles were being sent to a collector or a dealer, but one thing is sure, this is the way many pre-Columbian artefacts end up on foreign (for example European) markets, to later "surface" (from "underground") as from "an Old European Collection". 

'Peru Thwarts Antiquities Smugglers', Latin American Herald Tribune November 23, 2013

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