Colombians must register all pre-Columbian archaeological artifacts with the Institute of Anthropology and History (ICANH) by Tuesday or risk haviing them confiscated.
After Tuesday, pre-Colombian artifacts such as ceramics, clay pots, gold and many others that have not been registered, will be liable to be confiscated.
“Whomever registers the artifacts may request their legal tenure. That is, they may be able to retain them with a special permit given to them by the ICANH, but as the guardians of the artifacts, not as their owners,” said Fabian Sanabria, the institute’s director.
Sanabria acknowledged that some artifacts may have been passed down through the family, and people would therefore like for them to remain in their possession.
“What we say is, ‘the artifacts may remain in your possession to manage, but we [ICANH] must know what and where they are,” said Sanabria.
The campaign to locate and catalogue the country’s pre-Columbian artifacts began two years ago. Since that time, only 73 of 9,922 known pieces have been registered, primarily by museums and universities.
Tuesday is the final day for registration before confiscation begins. The ICANH website has a link with information on how to register artifacts online.