Basalt Jaguar Head. Photo courtesy of Interpol.

Basalt Jaguar Head. Photo courtesy of Interpol.

This week’s Stolen Art Wednesday takes us to a coffee farm in Central America for a jaguar head made of basalt that was looted while sitting out in the open. The statue has a missing left eye. The item is listed in Interpol’s database, and here’s the extent of the entry:

Type: SCULPTURE / STATUE / ARCHITECTURAL OR DECORATIVE ELEMENT / OTHER
Period: CIRCA 300 B.C.
Technics: SCULPTURE, STATUE / CARVED/THREE DIMENSIONAL
Additional Information: GREY BASALT STYLIZED HEAD OF A JAGUAR RIGHT EYE COMPLETE, LEFT EYE EMPTY
Height: 80 cm
Width: 63 cm
Materials: STONE

A little research and a rough Spanish translation, shows this is a recent theft. According to media accounts in El Salvador, the 500-pound stone jaguar head, also known as Monument No. 47 Cabeza de Jaguar, was reported stolen from the Loma de Paja coffee farm in Santa Ana. The piece was apparently discovered in 2011 along with other animal statues that were important to understanding the emergence of the Maya culture.

The article quotes officials who are concerned about specialized criminal groups with the ability to enter remote areas with the equipment to steal such statues and apparent access to the markets to sell them.