NewsThe FBI returns to Mexico a colonial sculpture that was stolen from...

    The FBI returns to Mexico a colonial sculpture that was stolen from a church 20 years ago

    It is a representation of San Antonio de Padua, which was illegally removed from the Parroquia de Santiago Apóstol de Jiutepec, in Morelos.

    US authorities repatriated to Mexico on Thursday a colonial sculpture that was stolen from a church in the state of Morelos 20 years ago, and that had been donated to a museum in Dallas (Texas, USA).

    It is a representation of the Portuguese priest San Antonio de Padua, which was stolen in 2002 from the Parroquia de Santiago Apóstol, located in the Mexican municipality of Jiutepec. The piece, a polychrome and stewed sculpture, has characteristic elements of the seventeenth century.

    Theft and return

    After the theft in the church, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in Morelos filed a complaint with the Public Ministry. It took several years for the Mexican authorities to detect that the sculpture was in a Dallas museum, where it ended up after an American collector left his entire collection as an inheritance, including that piece, when he died.

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    The museum staff realized that the sculpture did not have authentication permits, so they notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which took charge of it.

    Thus, the FBI representation in Mexico informed the authorities of the Latin American country and carried out the legal and logistical process to return the viceregal sculpture.

    The Mexican Government highlighted in a press release that the repatriation of the piece is a sign of the good results provided by the collaboration between both nations “in the fight against illicit traffic and sale of historical and archaeological pieces”.

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    Source: RT

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