Wednesday, December 2, 2009

South American Sisto Case?

The Sun Sentinel reports that the FBI has repatriated Pre-Columbian artifacts found in the home of a deceased Florida businessman to Peru and Ecuador. See,0,3969102.story

A retirement home manager found the collection in the man's home when she was preparing the property for resale. She called in the FBI "after searching the Internet" and determining that the objects "were illegal to possess."

The businessman apparently had no heirs (or perhaps no one looked very hard to find them) so there was no one with an interest in asking if the retirement home manager was "jumping to a conclusion."

The FBI and Florida International University apparently were not interested in anything other than identifying which cultures produced the objects so they could be repatriated to the governments of the modern nation states that occupy the land that produced them.

This incident reminds me of the recent Sisto case and some of the the issues that raised. For more, see

I also am also highly dubious of the claim of the FBI agent in the video that suggests that these artifacts will be put on display in Peru and Ecuador. Both countries have large stashes of similar artifacts in storage. The public typically never sees such artifacts, and, indeed, they may be subject to deterioration or theft.

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