Peru police recover 690 stolen pre-Columbian artifacts sold in a Cuzco souvenir shop and promoted on the internet

Peru police recovered 690 stolen pre-Columbian artifacts promoted via a video on the internet and sold in a front souvenir shop in Cuzco’s main plaza. Two people were arrested on charges of trafficking cultural patrimony.

Police, two district attorneys and four archaeologists raided a store, located just meters away from Cuzco’s central plaza and accross the street from the city’s famed Incan Museum, and found 690 Incan and pre-Inca objects, including ceramics and gold and silver work.

Mauro Alvítez Mendoza and his spouse Mercedes Sayre Quispe used the Internet to promote and sell the artifacts in a half-hour video, said Cuzco Tourism Police Chief Carlos Suárez Garrido in comments to state news agency Andina.

Peru’s Foreign Affairs Ministry was tipped off by an international news agency that reportedly spotted the illicit promotional video in which Alvítez allegedly appears masked.

Three archeological artifacts had been recently sold for 8,000 soles, or approximately $2,850, said Suárez, who also seized computers, invoices and other documents.

Fifty-one cases, filled with the precious artifacts, were turned over to Peru’s National Culture Institute.

Sharing is caring!

Comments are closed.