A British collector has returned a set of warrior helmets back to Spain after realising that the items were stolen. The helmets were first acquired by collector Christian Levett legally but Levett later learned that the items were stolen from a dig in northern-Spain. Levett had bought the set for 250,000 pounds.
Upon investigation, it was discovered that the helmets were stolen from Aranda de Moncayo dig site in norther-Spain around the 1980s. Levett worked with UNESCO and its Spanish Ambassador to ensure that the helmets were returned and also signed a document stating that he returned the helmets voluntarily. The helmets that were returned are believed to have been made between 400BC and 200BC.
While speaking to the local media, Levett said that if it is abundantly clear as is in this case that certain items have been acquired illegally then he believes they ought to be returned. Levett can not see how they can be kept in a private individuals collection. In 2012 the United States decided to return 15-tonne haul of coins that are estimated to be worth $500 million. The coins were discovered from the wreckage of the Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes which was sunk in 1804 by the British.
The Spanish government has stated that it has found several shipwrecks that are believed to have been sunk between 1492 and 1898. The shipwrecks are mostly located off the southern Atlantic coast of the US. They added that they believe that the shipwrecks contain food, clothes for slaves, weapons and religious objects.
Levett had bought seven helmets from an auction in Munich in 2008 and on from a dealer in 2009. He believes that the crime has been solved with the return of the helmets and now he will try to regain the money he spent on the helmets from the people he had initially bought them from.