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U.S. Customs returns 2,000-year-old vase to Peru

The U.S. Customs Service returned a rare pre-Columbian vase to thePeruvian government Thursday.

Customs conducted a brief ceremony at the agency's regional headquarters in Miami to return the vase, which was confiscated June 17, 1989, at Miami International Airport.

The 2,000-year-old artifact was hidden in the handbag of a passenger who had not declared it, Customs said.

Customs officials had the vase appraised by a pre-Columbian art expert who said it was worth about $2,500.

The vase was returned to Peruvian Consul Jose Luis Reuz by Bruce Cramer and Kenneth Heller of the Customs Service. Cramer is the fines, penalties and forfeitures officer for the Miami district and Heller is the inspector who confiscated the vase.