World's Largest Pearl Smuggled Out Of The Country
Ringo | On 16, Feb 2017
The National Museum fumed in the biggest cultural rob out from the country this year.
The 81.5-pound clam pearl, which is estimated at $130 million was shipped out of the country without the permission from National Museum or any other government agency.
The pearl, which was found a few months ago and “owned” by Filipino Gloria Huetter, was transported out of the Philippines to the United States via Hong Kong with the help of her American friend, Charlton Hollenbach.
NM Director Jeremy Barns expressed dismay over the incident. He said the Philippines has laws and regulations that needed to be followed.
“We have laws, and we have agreements, and this is yet another instance where we will bring the weight of International understanding to bear,: said Barns.
In an interview with Pennsylvania-based television, Hollenbach admitted that the pearl, together with other cultural properties, should have been first certified by NM.
“To get this into United States, I think we’re probably the first ones for this size to pull off what we did,” he said via the report.
Huetter said she planned to sell the pearl for the benefit of the poor.
Barns already had a meeting with officials of the American embassy in Manila. It was agreed that procedures of the law will be followed, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will do actions.
The Section 3 of the Presidential Decree No. 374, which amended Republic Act No. 4846 or the Cultural Properties Preservation Act, states that cultural properties include natural-history specimens such as fossils, rocks, minerals and exporting them without proper certification from NM.
This pearl is different from the giant pearl of Puerto Princesa.