Insurance institute will pay to bring prehistoric pieces back

The Instituto Nacional de Seguros has agreed to pay the estimated $59,000 to bring back to Costa Rica an assortment of archaeological pieces that wound up in the Brooklyn Museum.

The museum is cleaning house, and the bulk of the pieces are not museum quality. Nor do they have discovery information and location.

The pieces were sent to the United States by Minor Keith, the man who built the Atlantic railroad and had vast banana holdings on the Caribbean coast. The pieces are presumed to have come from his land.

The first lot from the Brooklyn Museum is some 1,000 pieces, mainly ceramics and some stone carvings. In all, there is a group of 4,000 that the museum in Brooklyn would like to send back. Many have not been catalogued fully.
Sandra Quirós, director of the Museo nacional, said that Keith shipped some 16,000 pieces to the United States. He was president of the United Fruit Co.

The Brooklyn Museum is returning the pieces voluntarily. The objects left the country long before there were laws against such activity.

The Instituto Nacional de Seguros operates the Museum de Jade, which is in the southwest corner of the headquarters in northern San José.

The Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud and the insurance institute plans to build a major museum in San José the west side of the Plaza de la Cultura.

The new musuem would be opposite the new entrance to the Museo Nacional.

The museum would incorporate the extensive collection of the jade museum as well as other pieces.

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