A Munich civil court says it has ordered a Costa Rican art dealer living in Germany to return two ancient wooden figures to Mexico after determining they were improperly obtained and exported.
|Wooden busts from the El Manati archaeological site
[Credit: Jen Garrett/WikiCommons]
The court said in its ruling that Leonardo Patterson also has to pay court costs because he was unable to prove ownership of the figures.
A witness testified Patterson told him they had been taken by a grave robber from the archaeological dig in El Manati, Mexico, a sacred site of the Olmec people, and that he’d bought them from a dealer.
The court estimated the value of the figures at 50,000 euros ($53,000) each.
The court said Friday it was not clear whether Patterson, who has said he obtained the pieces legally, would appeal the Nov. 18 verdict.
Source: The Associated Press [November 28, 2015]