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Jun 4, 2001

Royal Ontario Museum returns artifacts

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The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada has returned eighty-two Mayan artifacts to Belize. The pieces, all but one of which originally came from the ancient Maya site of Altun Ha, were taken out of the country in the 1960′s under the care of archaeologist Dr. David Pendergast. At that time there were no facilities in Belize to care for or display such treasures, so the artifacts were loaned out for viewing at R.O.M. with government permission. With that situation about to change, government has welcomed the return of the jade and ceramic pieces, and on Friday Prime Minister Said Musa was given a private tour of the collection. He remarked that he will continue to lobby for the return of other artifacts being held abroad. Meanwhile, a project with Mexico to develop museums in Belmopan and Belize City has been burdened by bureaucratic and financial delays and is only now beginning to gather steam.

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