Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Loss Of Altar Troubles Official.(Final)

Byline: Gary E. Salazar Journal Northern Bureau

Director: Peru Is Losing Its Culture

SANTA FE A 17th century altarpiece from a poor, remote Peruvian village somehow ended up in Santa Fe's premier gallery district but now appears to be headed back to its Andean home.

How the carved altarpiece from Challapampa ended up in the hands of Ron Messick and his Canyon Road gallery, Ron Messick Fine Arts, is being investigated by federal authorities.

Even though the altarpiece was taken into custody last week by Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and may be turned over to Peru soon, Dr. Jaime Mariazza, Peru's director of the National Registry of Cultural Patrimony, is troubled by the situation. …

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