Germany returns 3,000-year-old wooden Olmec busts to Mexico

March 20, 2018

Mexico says German authorities have returned two rare, wooden Olmec sculptures over 3,000 years old.

Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History said Tuesday the sculptures had been held at the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection.

The objects were the source of a nearly decade-long legal case involving Costa Rican artifact dealer Leonardo Patterson.

Mexico claimed the two busts had been illegally taken from the Olmec ruin site of El Manati, in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, and wound up in Patterson's hands. Authorities seized the pieces in 2008 after Patterson brought them to Germany.

A court ruled they belonged to Mexico in 2017.

Explore further: Researcher finds evidence for shared governance in ancient Mexico

Related Stories

Mexico demands Sotheby's halt auction of artifacts

March 21, 2013

(AP)—The Mexican government demanded Wednesday that the Sotheby's auction house halt the planned sale of 51 pre-Colombian Mexican artifacts, arguing they are protected national historical pieces.

Recommended for you

Dinosaurs' tooth wear sheds light on their predatory lives

April 26, 2018

Predatory, bird-like theropod dinosaurs from the Upper Cretaceous (100.5-66 million years ago) of Spain and Canada all relied on a puncture-and-pull bite strategy to kill and consume their prey. But close examination of patterns ...

Scientists set eyes on Neanderthal 'brain'

April 26, 2018

Scientists have for the first time set eyes on a three-dimensional Neanderthal brain in the form of a virtual model made to fit the empty, fossilised skulls of long-dead individuals, a study said Thursday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.