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Caribbean Artifact Collection Returned to Costa Rica

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Costa Rica ArtifactsSAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA—La Prensa Latina reports that the Brooklyn Museum has completed the transfer of more than 1,000 artifacts to the National Museum of Costa Rica. The objects, which are thought to have been acquired by American railroad tycoon Minor Keith between 1870 and 1910, include a 260-pound tombstone; a grinding stone or metate; vases, including a large one in the shape of a person; axes; chisels; lances; urns; domestic utensils; and a stone figure of a man whose hands are tied in front of him. The prisoner’s face, bearing an expression of sadness or pain, is turned to the side. “The collection that’s coming in is very diverse,” said archaeologist Javier Fallas. There are artifacts “from the central Caribbean but others come from the south and northwest that give us valuable scientific aspects to investigate,” he added. The artifacts will be verified, cleaned, restored, and cataloged. Costa Rica first enacted legislation to protect its patrimony in 1938. For more on Costa Rican archaeology, go to "Off the Grid: Diquis Delta, Costa Rica."

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