Spain returns Colombian treasure seized from drug gangs

Spain has returned to Colombia 691 indigenous artefacts seized in a police operation 11 years ago.

Most of the ceramic items are of huge cultural and archaeological value, and date back to 1400 BC.

They had been smuggled out of South America by a man linked to the drug gangs, the embassy in Madrid said.

Following a court order in Spain in June, the items have now been handed over to the Colombian authorities and taken back to Bogota.

They were placed in the Museum of America in Madrid while the long legal battle proceeded.

Some of the items, including ceramic sculptures, funeral urns and musical instruments, went on display at the museum in June. Read more.

Decorative elaboration. Terra-cotta funeral urn from Oaxaca.

Man in the Primitive World; an introduction to anthropology

E. Adamson Hoebel
New York: McGraw-Hill, 1958.