Sunday, 20 October 2019

Spanish Police Arrest Men Handling Colombian Antiquities [UPDATED]

Spanish police arrest two members of alleged smuggling network selling antiquities looted in Colombia to buyers in Europe and beyond (AFP, 'Recuperan máscara de oro prehispánica sacada ilegalmente de Colombia', 17th October 2019)
They were stopped at Madrid airport while carrying a Pre-Hispanic gold mask from the Tumaco region, "of great artistic and cultural value," which was to be sold in Spain for 200,000 euros, the National Police said in a statement.
The information that these people would arrive in Madrid was communicated by the authorities in Colombia, who made several searches in that country of members of the band, which allowed them to find "more than 240 pieces plundered from the regions of Nariño, Cauca, Tairona y Tumaco, from pre-Columbian times and of incalculable value". The recovered items had been prepared for shipment "to Spain, Russia and China for marketing on the black market," the statement said.
Donna Yates makes a good case on Twitter for the pictured item being a (not very good) fake.

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