Netherlands returns 300+ ancient artifacts to Panama
The Netherlands returns pre-Hispanic era ceramics to Panama in the largest repatriation of archaeological pieces in the history of Central America.
The Netherlands returned 343 pre-Hispanic era ceramics to Panama following a campaign to protect the Central American country's cultural heritage and restore artifacts that were taken out during the 1900s, Panamanian authorities confirmed on Monday.
"It is a valuable pre-Hispanic ceramic material that represents for Panama the rescue of part of its identity, of history as a source of social cohesion and collective pride," Panama's Foreign Ministry pointed out.
JUST IN: The #Netherlands has returned to #Panama a collection of 343 pre-Hispanic era ceramics in response to a movement in the Central American country to conserve its cultural heritage, officials in Panama City announced on Monday. pic.twitter.com/w0It3910KK— BNN Newsroom (@BNNBreaking) August 30, 2022
In a statement, Panama's Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes indicated that "this is the largest repatriation of archaeological pieces in the history of Central America."
The Foreign Ministry also mentioned that another repatriation of ancient artifacts would come from Italy.
It highlighted that the shipments are part of a government push to protect Panamanian cultural heritage and fight illegal trafficking.
According to the Ministry, Panama's Ambassador to the Netherlands had discovered that the ceramics were in Leiden University and that the university had expressed interest in returning them.
Reuters said that "Panama's culture ministry will take permanent custody of the artifacts, which are set to join a collection in the Reina Torres de Arauz archaeological museum in the country's capital."
It is noteworthy that Panama is a member of a 1970 convention against the illegal trade of cultural property.