Fuerza Pública confronts an archaeological puzzle

Police would like to know the origin of these pieces. Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública

The Fuerza Pública has confiscated what appear to be pre-Columbian figures, but they have no idea from where they originated.

The man and a woman who were carrying the items on a public bus are not talking.

Police located the ceramic and stone items on a Siquirres-Turrialba bus that they inspected.

The pieces include clay figures of a man and a woman. There also was what appeared to be a jade necklace and a stone figure of a man and a clay pot.

Police are working on the assumption that the pieces have been stolen, but there are numerous private collections of such material in the country. In addition, there are many replicas that would fool expert eyes.

Many similar items can be found at local flea markets. They may be loot from a ransacked house or they could be replicas. Some areas in Guanacaste and several artisans in San José create museum-quality replicas. Most are far more elegant than the items confiscated Saturday night.

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