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11/25/2019
San Francisco, CA
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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In June 2019, HSI was contacted by the son of a former U.S. soldier who had legally purchased two Fernando Amorsolo paintings while stationed in the Philippines near the end of World War II.

10/18/2019
Wilmington, DE
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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Since September 2011, HSI has been conducting an international cultural property investigation relating to several historically significant, printed letters authored by explorer Christopher Columbus during his return trip from the New World in 1493.

10/04/2019
Washington, DC
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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ICE's HSI International Operations Division Chief Leo Lin returned a sixth century marble statue known as the “Head of a Veiled Woman,” during a repatriation ceremony at the Libyan Embassy, Thursday.

09/26/2019
New York, NY
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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The Gold Coffin of Nedjemankh was presented to the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Hassan Shoukry who accepted the piece on behalf of the people of Egypt.

09/12/2019
London, United Kingdom
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York, with the assistance of HSI’s attaché office in London and London’s Metropolitan Police Service, kicked off the first meeting of the Virtual Global Cultural Property Task Force (VGCPTF).

08/15/2019
London, United Kingdom
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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Pursuant to an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with participation from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS); the High Commission of India in London in coordination with Indian Customs; and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in New York (DANY), the limestone carved relief and Navaneetha Krishna Bronze figure from India were repatriated to their home country.  On Aug. 15, the High Commissioner of India in London accepted the return of the artifacts on behalf of India.

05/16/2019
San Francisco, CA
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Deputy Special Agent in Charge Jerry Templet repatriated 10 Greek coins to the Government of Greece, Tuesday, during a reception at the San Francisco Greek Consulate.

03/04/2019
Fargo, ND
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

U.S. District Court Judge Linda R. Reade sentenced Michael Adefemi Adeyemo, aka Adekunle Olufemi Adetiloye, 47, to serve 10 years in federal prison, which is the statutory maximum for obstruction of justice under federal law. Adeyemo is a citizen of Nigeria who was living in Canada when he was extradited to the United States.

06/14/2018
Philadelphia, PA
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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The letter, originally written in 1493, was stolen from the Vatican Library and later sold in 2004 for approximately $875,000. This is the third Christopher Columbus’ letter repatriation in the past two years.

06/06/2018
Washington, DC
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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The letter, originally written in 1493, was stolen from the National Library of Catalonia in Barcelona and sold for approximately $1 million.

05/02/2018
Washington, DC
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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ICE returned 3,800 ancient artifacts, including cuneiform tablets, cylinder seals, and clay bullae, to the Republic of Iraq. The artifacts were smuggled into the United States in violation of federal law and shipped to Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc, a nationwide arts-and-crafts retailer.

12/15/2017
New York, NY
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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Following an investigation by ICE's HSI New York’s Cultural Property, Arts and Antiquities group, in coordination with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, three marble statues originally excavated from the Temple of Eshmun in Lebanon were repatriated to their home country. The Consul General of Lebanon in New York accepted the return of the artifacts on behalf of Lebanon.

10/20/2017
New York, NY
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the return of a collection of the artifact to the Italian Republic during a repatriation ceremony attended by the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage, Activities, & Tourism Dario Franceschini, the Ambassador of Italy to the U.S. Armando Varricchio, the Consul General of Italy in New York, Francesco Genuardi, and HSI Acting Deputy Assistant Director Anthony Scandiffio.

08/03/2017
El Cajon, CA
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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The day-long event, hosted by the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation in close collaboration with special agents from HSI’s San Diego office, began with a traditional tribal opening ceremony led by Cody J. Martinez, chairman of the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Nation. Symposium organizers believe the session is a crucial step toward developing longstanding partnerships that will serve to broaden protections for cultural artifacts on tribal and public lands in San Diego and Imperial counties.

07/05/2017
New York, NY
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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The government also filed a stipulation of settlement with Hobby Lobby, in which Hobby Lobby consented to the forfeiture of the artifacts in the complaint, approximately 144 cylinder seals and an additional sum of $3 million, resolving the civil action. Hobby Lobby further agreed to adopt internal policies and procedures governing its importation and purchase of cultural property, provide appropriate training to its personnel, hire qualified outside customs counsel and customs brokers, and submit quarterly reports to the government on any cultural property acquisitions for the next eighteen months.

06/30/2017
Washington, DC
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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The Royal Seals belonged to Queen Munjeong, who reigned from 1545 to 1565 and King Hyeonjong, who reigned from 1659 to 1674. The seal belonging to Queen Munjeong is believed to have been stolen during the Korean War (1950-1953) and illegally removed from Korea. King Hyeonjong’s seal is believed to have been stolen during the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910-1945).

04/19/2017
Boston, MA
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Boston Public Library repatriated several items of significant cultural value to the government of Italy at a ceremony Wednesday at the Boston Public Library. Included among these items were a 14th century manuscript, an illuminated page from a 15th century manuscript, nearly 200 ancient Roman coins and a book from the personal library of a 14th century Archbishop in Sicily.

04/06/2017
Florence, Italy
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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The two-day meeting, which was held March 30-31, centered on the theme “Culture as a Tool for Dialogue among Peoples.” The event brought together officials from Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Japan and the United States, to discuss the preservation and protection of cultural heritage, and the fight against trafficking of artistic and historic items.

02/10/2017
Albuquerque, NM
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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According to the indictment, from March 2014 through October 2015, the four defendants conspired to violate the IACA by displaying and offering for sale jewelry manufactured in the Philippines in a manner that suggested that it was Indian-produced and the product of American Indian tribes.

02/09/2017
Washington, DC
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

According to evidence presented at trial and court records, Ijaz Khan, 42, of Sante Fe, New Mexico, was part of a conspiracy that smuggled ancient artifacts into the U.S., including pottery and bronze weapons stolen from burial sites and coins from a cave temple in Pakistan called the Kashmir Smast.

01/12/2017
Washington, DC
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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Items returned included 296 ceramics and 51 textiles, some dating as far back as the 8th century A.D., including items from the Chancay civilization, which existed more than a thousand years ago in the area that is now modern day Peru. In addition, a Nazca-style Peruvian vessel, a comb, and a beaded necklace were among other artifacts returned, several from the Moche culture, an ancient Peruvian civilization. A 1735 copy of the book, “El Sol, y Año Feliz del Peru San Francisco Solano” was also be repatriated. 

12/21/2016
New York, NY
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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A new exhibit of repatriated cultural property, including paintings, sculptures, manuscripts and vases, recently debuted at the world-renowned Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.  Scheduled to be on display for the next two months, the entire exhibition, comprising more than 250 items, is dedicated to pieces that were stolen or otherwise missing but have since been recovered and repatriated back to Italy.

12/09/2016
Washington, DC
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) repatriated a page from a 14th century manuscript and a 19th century Carelli painting to the government of Italy at a ceremony Friday at the Italian Embassy in Washington.

12/07/2016
San Juan, PR
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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The 23 pre-Columbian artifacts were presented at the headquarters of the Ministry of Culture in Dominican Republic during an activity chaired by the United States ambassador, the Minister of Culture Pedro Vergés Cimán and the HSI Special Agent in Charge in Charge in Puerto Rico, Ricardo Mayoral.

12/01/2016
Washington, DC
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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On Sept. 8, 2009, HSI New York recovered a nesting sarcophagus from a garage in Brooklyn, New York. One year later, on Sept. 24, 2010, following leads from the Brooklyn case, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Newark seized a shipment of smuggled Egyptian goods, including a funerary boat model and figurines. 

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