Colombia recovers archaeological gems from Spain

A pre-Columbian object repatriated from Spain is on display at the foreign ministry in Bogota, Colombia, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014.

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia has successfully recovered from Spain hundreds of priceless, pre-Colombian artifacts smuggled out of the country more than a decade ago.

The 691 cultural treasures include carved funeral urns and conch-shaped musical instruments that, in some cases, date back thousands of years. All are from ancient societies that inhabited the northern part of the Andes prior to the arrival of Spanish explorers in the 16th century.

Pre-Columbian objects repatriated from Spain are on display at the foreign ministry in Bogota, Colombia, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014.AP: Cristian Alvarez

Pre-Columbian objects repatriated from Spain are on display at the foreign ministry in Bogota, Colombia, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014.

The foreign ministry planned to display the objects before the press on Monday. A public exhibit of the treasures is expected to open next year.

The objects were seized by Spanish authorities more than a decade ago during an anti-narcotics bust. They were placed in the care of Madrid's Museum of the Americas prior to their return to Colombia.