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Red List of Latin American Cultural Objects at Risk

In Latin America, looting of archaeological sites and thefts from museums and religious edifices are inflicting irreparable damage on the heritage of the continent and of mankind as a whole. Objects are being wantonly removed from their historical context to satisfy the growing international demand for antiquities. 

Faced with an emergency situation, the international community of heritage professionals has drawn up a Red List of Latin-American Cultural Objects at Risk to help put a stop to the illicit trade in cultural property. 

This list contains 25 examples of specific pre-Columbian and Colonial heritage categories which are systematically looted throughout Latin America and are in great demand on the illegal antiquities market.

All the categories of object in the Red List are protected by legislation and banned from export, and may under no circumstances be imported or put on sale. The Red List is an appeal to museums, auction houses, art dealers and collectors not to acquire these objects.

The Red List is also designed to help customs officials, police officers and art dealers to identify them.

This is a list of the types of object from Latin America which are particularly at risk and most likely to be stolen. It is in no way exhaustive. Because of the tremendous variety of objects, styles, and periods, any antiquity from Latin America should be viewed with suspicion.

 

Download the Red List of Latin American Cultural Objects at Risk in English and Spanish

List of object categories

Chincha-Ica oar, wood, 2.3 m x 20.5 cm, Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú

Carved Oars

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Material
Wood
Type
Sculptures | Tools and weapons | Religious and ceremonial objects
Countries
Peru
Period
Pre-Columbian
Inca kero, wood, high: 28 cm, Museo Inca de Cusco, Peru

Ceremonial beakers

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Material
Wood
Type
Utensils and vessels | Religious and ceremonial objects
Countries
Bolivia | Peru
Period
Pre-Columbian
Pendant, gold, 7.8 x 5.7 cm, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, Colección Patrimonio Arqueológico de Costa Rica

Eagle Pendants

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Material
Metals
Type
Accessories and jewellery
Countries
Costa Rica | Panama
Period
Pre-Columbian
Hacha pendant, jade, 7.1 x 3.3 cm, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, Colección Patrimonio Arqueológico de Costa Rica

Hacha (axe) Pendants

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Material
Jade
Type
Accessories and jewellery
Countries
Costa Rica | Nicaragua
Period
Pre-Columbian
Jama Coaque figure, ceramic, 54 x 28 cm, Museo Antropológico del Banco Central, Colección Banco Central del Ecuador

Jama Coaque Figures and Vessels

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Material
Ceramics | Clay
Type
Utensils and vessels | Sculptures
Countries
Ecuador | Colombia
Period
Pre-Columbian
Openwork grindstone, stone, 46 x 80 cm, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, Colección Patrimonio Arqueológico de Costa Rica

Lithics - Openwork Grindstones

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Material
Stone
Type
Utensils and vessels
Countries
Costa Rica | Honduras | Nicaragua | Panama
Period
Pre-Columbian
Maya pendant, jade, 11.3 x 4.2 cm, Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, Guatemala

Maya Pendants

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Material
Jade
Type
Accessories and jewellery | Religious and ceremonial objects
Countries
Belize | Guatemala | Honduras | Mexico
Period
Pre-Columbian
Maya polychrome vessel, ceramic, 15.5 x 16.5 cm, Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, Guatemala.

Maya Polychrome Vessels

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Material
Ceramics
Type
Utensils and vessels
Countries
Belize | Guatemala | Honduras | Mexico
Period
Pre-columbian
Moche vessel, ceramic, 33 x 17 cm, Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú

Moche Vessels

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Material
Ceramics
Type
Utensils and vessels
Countries
Peru | Ecuador
Period
Pre-Columbian
Nayarit figure, ceramic, 40.3 x 19.5 cm, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico

Nayarit Figures

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Material
Ceramics | Clay | Paste
Type
Sculptures
Countries
Mexico
Period
Pre-Columbian
Olmec figurine, jade, 10.8 x 3.2 cm, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico

Olmec Figurines

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Material
Jade
Type
Sculptures
Countries
Mexico
Period
Pre-Columbian
Stela 51, Calakmul, stone, 4.1 x 1.5 m, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico

Reliefs, Mayan Stelae

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Material
Stone
Type
Sculptures
Countries
Belize | Guatemala | Mexico | Honduras
Period
Pre-Columbian
Statue 10, Mesita A, stone, 2.6 x 1.2 m, Parque Arqueológico de San Agustín, Colombia

San Agustin Statues

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Material
Stone
Type
Sculptures | Religious and ceremonial objects
Countries
Colombia
Period
Pre-Columbian
Snuff tray, wood, high: 17.3 cm, Museo Arqueológico Padre Le Paige, Chile

Snuff Trays

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Material
Wood | Stone | Shell | Bones
Type
Utensils and vessels | Religious and ceremonial objects
Countries
Argentina | Chile | Peru
Period
Pre-Columbian
Teotihuacan mask, stone, 21 x 25.5 cm, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico

Teotihuacan Masks

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Material
Stone | Precious stones | Shell
Type
Accessories and jewellery | Religious and ceremonial objects
Countries
Mexico
Period
Pre-Columbian
Paracas cloak, textile, 2.4 x 1.3 m, Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú

Textiles - Fabrics (Paracas, Wari, Chimú and Chancay)

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Material
Textiles
Type
Textiles and clothing
Countries
Peru
Period
Pre-Columbian
Nasca unku, 55 x 42 cm, Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropologíae Historia del Perú

Textiles - Feather Weavings (Nasca, Chimu and Wari)

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Material
Textiles | Feathers
Type
Accessories and jewellery | Textiles and clothing
Countries
Peru
Period
Pre-Columbian
Tumaco-Tolita mask, gold, 17 x 16.8 cm, Museo Antropológico del Banco Central, Colección Banco Central del Ecuador

Tumaco-Tolita Masks

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Material
Metals
Type
Accessories and jewellery
Countries
Colombia | Ecuador
Period
Pre-Columbian
Marajoará urn, ceramic, high: 84 cm, Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, Brazil

Urns from the Amazon River Region

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Material
Ceramics
Type
Utensils and vessels
Countries
Brazil | Colombia | Ecuador | Venezuela
Period
Pre-Columbian
Ivory Christ, Templo de San Buenaventura de Chihuahua, Mexico

Ivory Sculptures

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Material
Ivory
Type
Sculptures | Religious and ceremonial objects
Countries
Mexico
Period
Colonial
Frontal, stepped section and tabernacle, silver, 2 x 2.6 m, Iglesia Jesús de Machaca, La Paz, Bolivia

Liturgical Silver Objects

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Material
Metals
Type
Religious and ceremonial objects
Countries
Bolivia | Colombia | Ecuador | Guatemala | Mexico | Peru
Period
Colonial
Trinity, oil on canvas, 1.2 m x 68 cm, Museo Regional de Cusco, Peru

Oil Paintings - Cuzco and Quito

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Material
Canvas | Metals | Wood
Type
Paintings
Countries
Bolivia | Ecuador | Peru
Period
Colonial
The Ascension of our Lord, Alonso López de Herrera, oil on canvas, 2.4 x 1.6 m, Mexico

Oil Paintings - Mexican and Guatemalan

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Material
Canvas | Wood | Metals
Type
Paintings | Religious and ceremonial objects
Countries
Guatemala | Mexico
Period
Colonial
Virgin Mary, wood, 58 x 28 cm, Museo de Arte Colonial de Bogotá, Colombia

Polychrome Wood Sculptures

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Material
Wood
Type
Sculptures
Countries
Brazil | Argentina | Peru | Ecuador | Uruguay | Paraguay | Bolivia
Period
Colonial
Corn-stem paste Christ, Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, Santa Fe de los Altos D.F., Mexico

Vegetal Fiber Sculptures

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Material
Organic
Type
Religious and ceremonial objects | Sculptures
Countries
Mexico
Period
Colonial