Feedback: Valuable Artifacts Found In Antwerp Barn

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Pam Wilder LaLonde discovered pre-Columbian Costa Rican art in the Wilder family barn in Antwerp.

Her late-father, an antique dealer, purchased the pieces 40 years ago, but didn't know their value. 

"We find that they're not what we thought they were," said Pam.  

Last year, Pam's family friend, Suzanne Colbert, bought some of the pieces and brought them to the attention of Fort Drum Cultural Resources Manager Laurie Rush. 

Rush discovered many of the pieces are pre-Columbian, from Costa Rica, and roughly 1,000 years old.

"It means objects that were created prior to Columbus coming to the Americas in the 15th century," said Rush.

The pieces are worth some money, but the Wilder family is choosing to give them back to Costa Rica in a repatriation ceremony at the Costa Rican Embassy next week. 

The art will be given to the National Museum of Costa Rica. 

Until then, the women are enjoying having access to a some rare pieces of history.

"Just to touch them and wonder who made them and what their situations were, how long did it take to make them," said Pam.

Although most of the pieces will go to Costa Rica, some will stay behind.

The artifacts, which are not 1,000 years old, don't have any value to the Costa Rican government.

The women will keep the newer pieces as a reminder of this experience.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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