“Thanks to the joint investigation efforts of our Antiquities Trafficking Unit and Mexican authorities, these landmark cultural heritage items, which showcase the evolution of the Spanish state in Latin America and the roots of Mexican national identity, are heading home where they will be studied and treasured for generations to come.”
“For many years, this fake antiquities mill based in midtown Manhattan promised customers rare treasures from the ancient world and instead sold them pieces manufactured on-site in cookie-cutter fashion,” the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., said in a statement after Mr. Sadigh was arrested earlier this month.
“This magnificent collection of artifacts returned to the people of Pakistan today epitomizes that nation’s rich cultural heritage and humanity’s never-ending quest for enlightenment and peace,” said District Attorney Vance.
“I am honored to return these three wonderful pieces back to their rightful owners – the people of Indonesia. I want to thank my Office’s Antiquities Trafficking Unit and our partners at Homeland Security Investigations for their ceaseless efforts that have resulted in nearly 400 treasures being returned to 11 countries over the past year. I look forward to further repatriations in the near future.”
“Without restorers to disguise stolen relics, there would be no laundered items for antiquities traffickers to sell,” said District Attorney Vance. “The arraignment of Neil Perry Smith serves as a reminder that behind every antiquities trafficking ring preying upon cultural heritage for profit, there is someone reassembling and restoring these looted pieces to lend the criminal enterprise a veneer of legitimacy.”