750 archaeological pieces will be repatriated to Mexico

Derived from seizures and voluntary returns made in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Australia, France, and the United States, around 750 archaeological pieces will be repatriated to Mexico, originating from the Olmec culture, from the Mesoamerican Central Highlands, and from New Spain.

Among the objects that will arrive in Mexico in the coming months are a baptismal font and a holy water sprinkler –both from the 18th century–, a Mayan urn made between the years 900 and 1600, as well as a clay pipe with the zoomorphic figure of a seated monkey.

The announcement of the repatriation of those 750 assets was made by Diego Prieto, director of INAH, during the presentation of the television series “Grandeza de México”.

Now, through a statement, the Ministry of Culture explained that some of the repatriated pieces could be integrated into the diverse Mexico exhibition, “Territories, cultures and civilizations ”, which will be inaugurated in September at the National Museum of Anthropology, on the occasion of the 500 years of the fall of Tenochtitlan and 200 years of the bicentennial of the consummation of Independence.

In its statement, the Secretariat reported that the group of pieces that will be repatriated “has already been verified by INAH experts, and includes elements from the Olmec and the Mesoamerican Central Highlands, which date back to the Preclassic period (2500 BC-200 AD), until the Postclassic (900-1521 AD) and even from New Spain ”.

From the New Spanish era, there is a baptismal font and a holy water sprinkler, objects from the 18th century, “whose reimbursement to Mexico has been agreed upon through collaboration between the INAH and the Historical Society of Arizona, United States.”

Among the pre-Hispanic objects, there is a Mayan urn that was made “between the years 900 and 1600, which, as it was recently announced, comes from the archaeological site Laguna Pethá, in Chiapas. The return was arranged in dialogue with Albion College, Michigan ”.


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Stela 3 from the Mayan site La Mar will also arrive from the United States, which has been “associated with the state of Chiapas and which was made in rock and dates from the Late Classic Maya period (800-900 AD); it contains the representation of a warrior with high-status attire who wears a headdress and holds with his right hand a noble captive, who has been stripped of his clothing and insignia ”.

From France, “a clay pipe with the zoomorphic figure of a seated monkey, painted in black. It is an object of Totonac affiliation, made on the Gulf of Mexico Coast in the Postclassic period (900–1521 AD) ”.

The agency added that the repatriation of the assets is the result of a joint effort between the INAH and the Ministry of Foreign Relations. In addition to the fact that so far this administration, 5,509 heritage pieces have been repatriated, “of which 4,915 are archaeological and 594 are historical.”


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