Capitol Hill’s Mexican consulate holds repatriation ceremony for recovered artifacts

(Images: SPD)

What happens when Seattle Police finds out about historical Mexican artifacts being sold at an estate sale? Tuesday afternoon, officials at Capitol Hill’s Consulate of Mexico in Seattle held a repatriation ceremony for hollow clay Nayarit figures recovered from a sale last year in Seattle.

The figures were recovered a year ago and examinations by anthropology experts and Mexican officials determined that the items were genuine, SPD says.

SPD says the the restitution of the pieces is being done under the Treaty of Cooperation between Mexico and the United States of America providing for the Recovery and Return of Stolen Archaeological, Historical, and Cultural Properties, as well as in the provisions of articles 5, 27, 28, 50, 51 and 53 of the Federal Law on Archaeological, Artistic and Historic Monuments and Areas.


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SPD says the Major Crimes Task Force worked over the last year with the Mexican Consulate, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Interpol, U.S. State Department, the FBI, local and national experts to make sure these items were returned.

“Seattle is a welcoming city and all of us at the Seattle Police Department are so glad that we can reunite these treasured artifacts with their home country of Mexico, where they rightfully belong…welcome home. I want to acknowledge our Major Crimes Task Force whose great work during this investigation led us to this day,” SPD Chief Carmen Best said Tuesday.

It has been a busy week at the E Roy consulate. Friday brought the official inauguration of the consulate in a ceremony including Mayor Jenny Durkan and Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib.

The diplomatic facility moved to Capitol Hill this summer from Belltown and now calls the overhauled Harvard Exit home. The Mexican Cultural Institute also makes its home in the building. General Consul Roberto Dondisch said he sought to create “a sense of home” in the Pacific Northwest for the region’s many Mexican communities with the investment in the new facility on Capitol Hill.


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