QCOSTARICA — NBC6 Miami reports that several pre-Columbian artifacts seized at an airport in Orlando in 2017 were repatriated to Costa Rica in a ceremony this week with Ludmila Ugalde, Consul General of Costa Rica.
The three pieces of Costa Rican history were returned almost six years after an international traveler brought them to the United States, spotted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers while scanning passenger luggage.
“In December 2017, a U.S. lawful permanent resident from Deltona, Florida, arrived at Orlando International Airport from San Jose, Costa Rica. After being referred to secondary inspection, CBP agricultural specialists suspected that the individual might be transporting protected artifacts,” reads the news release.
“We started opening all the bags and in one of the shoes that the traveler had, we found the artifacts,” said CBP Agriculture Specialist Jose Carlos Esteves.
“It was actually concealed inside the shoes.”
The objects were believed to have been “used for funerary or domestic contexts in the period established between 300 B.C. and 880 A.D,” CBP said.
The ceramic objects, dated to the tenth and fifth centuries B.C., will be housed in the Costa Rica National Museum.
For more on Costa Rican archaeology, go to “Off the Grid: Diquis Delta, Costa Rica.”
CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, protected cultural property, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products.