RELIGIOUS items, some of which are of incalculable value, have been discovered by a team of Guardia Civil officers as part of a national campaign known as Operation Pandora V aimed at protecting Spanish Historical Heritage and combating illicit trafficking in cultural property, especially through the internet.
This particular investigation which started in March of this year saw officers rescue 94 rare and valuable items and seize €165,000 in cash from a property in Palencia where an individual was arrested.
It was known that many significant religious items and books had been stolen in a number of robberies in Palencia, Burgos, Teruel and La Rioja and some of these items were seen for sale on the internet.
Of particular interest to the investigators were three items being offered for sale by an individual which consisted of a book of the Apocalypse of Saint John “Beato de Liébana”, a silver chalice from the 16th century and a garnet coloured cloth embroidered in gold with an image of the Virgin.
Having identified the seller’s address, a raid took place at a property where these and the other works of historical importance were found in a number of rooms including a store room and an annex and a Catholic priest was invited to identify and help catalogue the recovered items.