Two rare ceramic pieces can now be returned to the Government of Peru following an agreement by the United States and a New York-based collector of Peruvian pre-Columbian antiquities. The Peruvian government considers the items part of the country’s cultural patrimony and believes they were unlawfully exported.
Acting on information from Peru, U.S. agents seized the two antiquities, and several other pieces, at John F. Kennedy International Airport as they entered the United States back in 2009.
Working closely with leading experts in Peruvian pre-Columbian ceramics, law enforcement established that the two items had likely originated from the Jequetepeque Valley in Peru from La Mina or another archaeological site nearby in the Lambayeque area. The ceramics experts date the two pieces from between 300 and 360 A.D. These sites were looted in the late 1970s.
The seized items are described as original pre-Hispanic pieces of Peruvian origin in the Dos Cabezas (formerly La Mina) sub-style.