Lawsuit: Venezuela must return Bolivar artifacts
MIAMI (AP) -- A lawsuit filed in Miami federal court is asking a judge to order the government of Venezuela to return Simon Bolivar artifacts to a South Florida man.
The lawsuit contends Venezuela borrowed items of the 19th century South American independence leader from Ricardo Devengoechea in 2007 and never returned them. They include a lock of Bolivar's hair used by Venezuela to verify the authenticity of his remains buried there.
Other items include epaulets from uniform worn by Napoleon Bonaparte, a liberation medal awarded to Bolivar by the government of Peru and numerous documents and letters. The lawsuit contends one of Devengoechea's Colombian ancestors were given the items by Bolivar himself.
A Venezuelan Embassy spokeswoman in Washington did not immediately reply Tuesday to an email seeking comment.
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