Two Murcian students find on YouTube a cross stolen from the cathedral 39 years ago.
The investigation initiated by Juan Manuel Rodríguez and Antonio José Gil has also allowed finding a 19th century necklace
Both belonged to the treasure of the Virgin of the Fuensanta and had been subtracted from the cathedral of Murcia in 1977
Capture of the Belluga cross in the YouTube video that resulted in its location
When realizing the coincidences with the original cross - "at the beginning we could not believe that it was there, in view of all" - they transferred the case to one of their professors at the University of Murcia, Manuel Pérez Sánchez, who guided them during two weeks in the identification and research work. "Once we were safe," recalls the student, "our professor sent an email to the Heritage delegation of the Civil Guard that is in charge of investigating this type of crime, but surprisingly it did not get an answer". The young people had to resort then to personal contacts that they had in the body: "a family member of Antonio who works in the Civil Guard delegation in Alicante was the one who listened to us and initiated the official procedures so that the order to investigate the whereabouts was given. from the cross".
In September 2015 the University and the two students ignored and left the case in the hands of the authorities. Until this February, when they began to hear rumors that the piece had been recovered and was about to arrive in Murcia to be presented publicly.
"Our professor began to denounce in social networks that we were not attributed the origin of the investigation. Francisco Nortes, from the blog Sentir Cofrade was, together with the journalist of La Verdad Antonio Botías, the first to refer to the location work we had done and that we informed the Civil Guard, "explains Juan Manuel. "Now the Ministry of Culture and the Bishopric has contacted us - in addition to other media - to thank us for what we did. We were not looking for an economic or other kind of reward, we have personal gratification, we just wanted the truth not to be lacking and that it be mentioned that those who really started the process were us and Manuel Pérez ".
According to the Civil Heritage group explained the Civil Guard in the act of returning the pieces to the Museum of the Cathedral, the identification of the cross was possible thanks to an exhaustive analysis that found in it soot particles, from the fire that the Cathedral of Murcia suffered in 1854.
Thanks to the collaboration of the auction house and to maintain an on-line catalog with products in history actively participating in the resolution and facilitating everything necessary for the location, the agents were reconstructing the trail of the collar and the pectoral cross, until finding their current owners who were finally confiscated. "We are very proud because these are very valuable pieces both economically and sentimentally," explains Juan Manuel.
It is not the first time that the Faculty of Art History of the University of Murcia helps in the identification of stolen articles. Last November, a silver lantern of the 18th century was recovered in an auction house in Madrid. The two young people also believe that the Fuensanta treasure case is not closed and more stolen specimens may appear soon.
Antonio, who is in the first year of History of Art and Juan Manuel, about to finish the fourth year, will continue with their studies and do not rule out heading towards research. "I would like this to be useful so that the voice of art historians could be heard," concludes Juan Manuel, "that society be aware of the important work of the experts in Heritage and that we have a little more in mind. Let us be equated with other much more respected professions. "