San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica Recovers Pre-Columbian Art

The collection of pre-Columbian art at the NationalMuseum in San José recently grew by 14 pieces, thanks to a donation by a woman in the United States.

U.S. citizen Mary Kay Becker received the small ceramic vases as a gift and contacted the Costa Rican Embassy in Washington, D.C., to return them here, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

Archaeologists believe the pieces date back to the period from A.D. 300 to A.D. 800 and come from the northwestern Guanacaste province.

They were brought here by the embassy and handed over to the museum during a ceremony at the Foreign Ministry.

“For us it’s very satisfying that people who have obtained pre-Columbian pieces decide at some point to return them to the country, and we applaud the cooperation the Costa Rican Embassy in Washington, D.C., has offered in the matter,” said National Museum Director Francisco Corrales.

The ceramic pieces will help archaeologists better understand groups that lived during this period in Guanacaste, he said.

The items belong to the Department of Patrimonial Protection and will be used in exhibits and educational activities, the statement said.


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