Chile: Morocco Recovers 400 Mln-Year-Old Rare Fossils


Santiago – Some 117 pieces of rare fossils originating from Morocco and dating back around 400 million years were handed back to Morocco by Chilean authorities during a ceremony in Santiago.

Chilean customs confiscated the paleontological pieces between 2017 and 2022 and were handed on Monday, to Morocco’s Ambassador in Santiago, Kenza El Ghali, by Director of National Heritage Services, Nelida Pozo Kudo, and Director of Inspection of the Chilean Customs Service, José Luis Castro Montecinos, with the presence of representatives of various departments; Foreign Affairs, Culture, Customs Services and Security.

At this ceremony, which took place at the National Library of Chile, Pozo Kudo stressed that cooperation between Morocco and Chile encompasses many fields, notably, protecting high scientific value fossils, adding that the seizure by Chilean Customs of of these fossils and their restitution to the Kingdom is a clear example of both countries’ commitment towards the fight against illicit access to cultura
l property, in accordance with international law.

On this occasion, Irwin Brevis, Technical Secretary of Chile’s National Monuments Council, expressed his satisfaction at having contributed to “the recovery of this 400-million-year-old heritage, (…) and without exaggeration, its long history antedates the continental formation and thus long before the creation of Chile and Morocco, in other words, before the planet was as we know it today”.

Brevis also expressed his conviction that “the coordination and joint efforts between the various institutions and international cooperation are proving fruitful, enabling us today to return these fossils to the Kingdom of Morocco”.

For his part, the Moroccan Ambassador extended his gratitude to the Chilean authorities on account of their close cooperation since five years ago in restoring this piece of heritage of Moroccan origins, noting that “the smuggling of antiquities and fossils dating back millions of years is arguably worse than drug trafficking”.

Source: A
gence Marocaine De Presse