Mexico seizes 39 art treasures smuggled out of Singapore

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mexico City, Jan 18 (IANS/EFE) A total of 39 Singaporean art treasures from the 17th and 18th centuries were seized in the Mexican port of Manzanillo after being smuggled into the Latin American nation, the Attorney General’s Office said.

Federal investigators and tax inspectors were checking goods stored on the premises of the Timsa company in Manzanillo when they came upon two wooden boxes in which the artworks were hidden, the AG’s office said in a commuique Monday.

Mexican authorities contacted the culture ministry of Singapore, which said that “among the insured items are several considered part of our cultural heritage since they are from the 17th and 18th centuries”.

The items “cannot be sold”, according to the Mexican AG’s office, which is already hunting down those responsible for the crime of smuggling antique art.

Among the works seized were human figures and representations of animals, reptiles, bells, a cross and a glass.

The items confiscated will be held at the customs office of Manzanillo.

The Mexican government expressed its “deepest rejection of art trafficking” and promised to work in coordination with the international authorities and the world community “to find innovative ways to solve this problem,” the note said.


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