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Operation recovers stolen Zimbabwean works of art

Friday - 10/11/2013, 11:10am  ET

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Officials at Zimbabwe's main art gallery say six African artifacts stolen in 2006 are back on display after a "sting" operation in Poland by FBI and CIA law enforcement agents.

National Art Gallery curator Lillian Chaonwa said Friday a suspect tried to sell the art to an unnamed American buyer who alerted U.S. authorities. She said a man convicted of the theft has since been jailed.

The artifacts included two tribal face masks and four intricately carved wooden headrests from the early 20th Century believed to have had mystical properties during sleep.

Chaonwa said African museums were being targeted by thieves knowing the value and rarity of the continent's works of art to collectors.

She had posted images of the missing works on the Internet.


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