London: Police seize prized ancient headdress

August 17, 2006 18:23

An ancient headdress - considered one of Peru's most prized artifacts and missing for more than two decades since being looted from an archaeological dig - was recovered in a raid on a London law firm, police said Thursday. Specialist art detectives seized the antiquity from the central London firm after a lengthy investigation into stolen goods, London's Metropolitan police said. The centuries-old artifact - fashioned from a sheet of embossed gold, with a feline face at its center and eight curving tentacles - is estimated to be worth over 1 million pounds (US$1.9 million), experts said. Made in the image of an ancient sea god and said to date back to 700, the gold headdress is a prized example of artwork by the Mochica civilization of northern Peru, police said.

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