FBI Returns 16 Artifacts to Peruvian Officials

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Art Crime Team repatriated 16 cultural items to Peruvian officials at a ceremony held at the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

It was confirmed by the US Department of State’s Cultural Office in Lima, the Peruvian Ministry of Culture, the UCLA Art History Department, as well as the FBI’s Assistant Legal Attaché in Lima, Peru, that all 16 pieces, which include two paintings, 10 historical documents, and four stone axes originated in Peru.

The Peruvian Ministry of Culture notified the FBI in December 2020 of an eBay seller who looked to be selling a historical Peruvian document.

The report led the FBI to track down an eBay seller in Florida who was selling more Peruvian records, the seller was then interviewed, and ten Peruvian historical documents were recovered.

The two paintings recovered were “The Virgin of Guadalupe” and “The Pentecost”, both stolen from churches in Peru.

“Repatriation ceremonies are important displays of the goodwill shared between nations—and today—specifically between The Republic of Peru and the United States. These ceremonies are the results of significant effort by personnel from both countries, including those from the diplomatic, law enforcement, and academic communities.” said the FBI.

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