Case Studies

gpsgolox-pole

G’psgolox Totem Pole

A First Nations totem pole which was removed from Canada under controversial circumstances and eventually repatriated from Sweden. It is the first Canadian totem pole repatriated from Europe. The Haisla are a Canadian Indigenous group based out of the Kitimaat area of the North Coast of British Columbia with an approximate membership of 1500 people (Haisla First Nation n.d.). The modern Haisla...

mithuna-by-angel-franco

Maithuna from Atru

Two 9th/10th century reliefs stolen from a temple in Rajasthan in 2009 and returned from the United States in early 2014.

machaquila-stela-2-drawing-by-ian-graham-from-just-2007

Machaquilá Stela 2

Maya sculpture looted from Guatemala and smuggled into the U.S. resulting in a ground-breaking court decision.

Stela Adad-nerari III

Stele of Adad-nerari III

Syrian stele offered for sale in Christie’s and Bonhams...

pn319-11paracas-textile-by-ann-h-peters

Paracas Mantle returned from National Gallery of Australia

Stolen from Peru’s national museum, the textile was purchased by Australia’s national museum and was returned in 1989 after several years of Peruvian demands.

peruvian-featherwork-in-getty-public-domain-via-flickr

Peruvian Antiquities Seized at Dulles Airport (1981)

Dealer pleaded guilty to falsely declaring the value of freshly-looted Peruvian antiquities that he attempted to bring into the US...

Uma Maheshwar Nepal via Patan Museum

Uma Maheshwar from Nepal

A 12th century Hindu sculpture stolen from Nepal in 1982 and returned from a Berlin museum in 2000.

garland-sarcophagus-2

Garland Sarcophagus

Second century Roman piece looted from Turkey and returned in a deal that included a tax write off for the buyer.

ixkun-sign

Ixkun Stela 5

In 1972 looters heated this Maya monument and doused it in water, causing it to break into easily-transportable fragments.

las-limas-monumnet-1-via-wikimedia-commons-free-use

Las Limas Monument 1

Well-known Olmec greenstone statue stolen from a Mexican museum and abandoned in a Texas hotel room after traffickers were unable to sell it.