Tapestry stolen in 1979 found in Houston

Published On: Dec 07 2012 03:23:50 PM CST
HOUSTON -

A 16th century tapestry that was stolen in Spain has been found in Houston.

The tapestry was found at a local business in November. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations officials said the business did not know the tapestry was stolen.

Investigators said the tapestry, which depicts the Virgin Mary and Saint Vincent of Saragossa, was taken from a cathedral in Roda de Isabena, Spain, in December 1979. The tapestry was part of the cathedral's collection and was declared a national monument by royal decree in 1924.

The tapestry was displayed for sale at a fair in Belgium in January 2010 and was later sold to the Houston company for $369,000 in an auction, detectives said.

After the Spanish Civil Guard's Heritage Protection Group found out about the sale, it got a court order under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and asked for help to get the tapestry.