Caracas: Venezuela`s government on Saturday began to take control of an archive of documents that belonged to independence hero Simon Bolivar.
The letters and other documents are being moved to the National Archives from an institution led by historians who have often criticised President Hugo Chavez.
The transfer is part of a broader trend. Chavez describes himself as a follower of Bolivar and his government has taken tighter control of historical artefacts related to the South American "Liberator”.
The semiautonomous National Academy of History has cared for the archive since 1999. It says the documents are being transferred to the government`s National Archives in perfect condition.
Academy leaders have previously accused Chavez of endangering a national treasure by brandishing Bolivar`s sword at public events.
The documents that were ordered moved by public decree also include those of another national hero, Francisco de Miranda.
Luis Pellicer, director of the National Archives, said the documents are being transferred "with the aim of making them known to all Venezuelans, for being a foundation of revolutionary Venezuela”.