SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — The Mexican Consulate in San Diego has recovered 65 archeological pieces taken from Mexico years ago and held in California private collections.

Norm Werthman and Pete Mechalas, both U.S. citizens and residents of San Diego County, voluntarily turned over the pieces hoping they’d be returned to Mexico, said Carlos González Gutiérrez, Mexico’s Consul General in San Diego.

“I’m grateful to these San Diego residents for their generous gesture and willingness to return the artifacts to the Mexican people,” said González. “This is part of an ongoing effort by the Mexican Government to recover historic archeological pieces that are part of our nation’s heritage.”

González stated the artifacts have been analyzed by Mexico’s Secretary of Culture and the National Institute of Anthropology and History.

“Among the returned pieces, there’s objects belonging to the Preclassical, Classical and Postclassical Mesoamerican periods found in the western, northwest, central highlands and the Gulf of Mexico regions,” he said.

The artifacts will be returned to Mexico in the coming weeks. It was not made public how or when the private collectors obtained them.