Colombia recovers archaeological gems from Spain

September 1, 2014
Pre-Columbian objects repatriated from Spain are on display during a press conference at the foreign ministry in Bogota, Colombia, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. Hundreds of objects that had been held by Madrid's Museum of the Americas since being seized by Spanish authorities more than a decade ago during an anti-narcotics bust were recently returned to Colombia. (AP Photo/Cristian Alvarez)

Colombia has successfully recovered from Spain hundreds of priceless, pre-Colombian artifacts smuggled out of the country more than a decade ago.

The 691 cultural treasures include carved funeral urns and conch-shaped musical instruments that, in some cases, date back thousands of years. All are from ancient societies that inhabited the northern part of the Andes prior to the arrival of Spanish explorers in the 16th century.

The foreign ministry planned to display the objects before the press on Monday. A public exhibit of the treasures is expected to open next year.

The objects were seized by Spanish authorities more than a decade ago during an anti-narcotics bust. They were placed in the care of Madrid's Museum of the Americas prior to their return to Colombia.

A pre-Columbian object repatriated from Spain is on display at the foreign ministry in Bogota, Colombia, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. Hundreds of objects that had been held by Madrid's Museum of the Americas since being seized by Spanish authorities more than a decade ago during an anti-narcotics bust were recently returned to Colombia. (AP Photo/Cristian Alvarez)
Pre-Columbian objects repatriated from Spain are on display at the foreign ministry in Bogota, Colombia, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. Hundreds of objects that had been held by Madrid's Museum of the Americas since being seized by Spanish authorities more than a decade ago during an anti-narcotics bust were recently returned to Colombia. (AP Photo/Cristian Alvarez)

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