Thu. Apr 18th, 2019

Two Visigothic stones stolen by professional thieves return to Spain

Dos piedras visigodas robadas por ladrones profesionales vuelven a España

The Museum of Burgos account from this Wednesday with two Visigothic reliefs of the hermitage of Quintanilla de las Viñas that They were stolen in 2004 and located in the garden of a house in London by a Dutch researcher.

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The two pieces, each weighing about fifty kilos, will be joined by thirteen others from the same hermitage that were deposited in the museum after the theft to avoid the risk of new looting. The two ashlars dated between the seventh and ninth centuries have two reliefs that represent evangelists, although in neither case have they been able to identify with precision, explained the director of the Museum of Burgos, Marta Negro.

The two pieces have been moved to Spain in a chartered Civil Guard plane

The two pieces, which have been moved from the Spanish embassy in London, where they were deposited after being located by a buyer who was unaware of their illicit origin, have been transferred to Spain in a Civil Guard plane chartered especially for this operation, with the aim of ensuring its conservation and safety.

They have arrived at the Museum of Burgos in boxes specially designed to avoid damage during the transfer, although before integrating with the rest of the pieces of the hermitage they will undergo a treatment to correct problems due to excess humidity.

At this time, the investigation is still open to try to clarify who, when and how these pieces were taken from Spain

Sources of the Civil Guard have explained that these ashlars are property of the General State Administration, given that the Spanish Historical Heritage Law establishes this measure for all goods that are subject to illegal export, as occurred in this case. In fact, at this time the investigation is still open to try to clarify who, when and how these pieces were taken from Spain.

The act of depositing the two blocks has been attended, among others, the delegate of the Government in Castilla y León, Virginia Barcones; the general director of Fine Arts of the Ministry of Culture, Román Fernández Baca; the head of the Civil Guard Command, Alfonso Martín; and the general director of Heritage of the Junta de Castilla y León, Enrique Saiz.

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