These are some of the 50 pre-Hispanic artefacts that have been returned to Mexico after being handed over to the country’s embassies around the world – including one piece that is over 1,000 years old.
Newsflash obtained a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico on Wednesday, 14th September, saying: “The restitution of more than 50 pieces to Mexico is formalised.”
The Ministry explained that all the pieces had been handed over voluntarily by people around the world. It explained: “The Ministry of Foreign Relations has delivered pieces, that individuals voluntarily presented to the embassies and consulates of Mexico in different countries, to the Ministry of Culture.”
Over 50 pieces have now formally been handed over to the Ministry of Culture, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying: “Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivered to the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Mexico, through the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), more than 50 archaeological pieces recovered by the embassies and consulates of Mexico in abroad, which, in accordance with the Federal Law on Monuments and Archaeological, Artistic and Historical Zones, are part of the cultural heritage of our country.
“The opinions made by INAH specialists confirm that these are pieces belonging to different cultures from different periods of the pre-Hispanic era, which were voluntarily returned to the Mexican embassies in Austria, Canada and Sweden, as well as to the consulates of Mexico in Vancouver, Canada, and Albuquerque, United States, by citizens residing in said constituencies.”
They said that one piece in particular dates back over 1,000 years, according to experts. The Ministry said: “In particular, an urn of Zapotec origin stands out, which, according to the INAH opinion, was made between 600 and 900 AD. and a column fragment taken from the architectural structure known as ‘El Palacio’, in the archaeological site of Santa Rosa Xtampak, in the municipality of Hopelchen, Campeche.”
The Mexican authorities said that the restitutions were partly due to the government’s efforts to recover its “cultural heritage illegally stolen from the country” and a result of raising awareness, notably thanks to its ‘#MiPatrimonioNoSeVende’ (‘My cultural heritage is not for sale’) campaign.
The Ministry added: “The Government of Mexico thanks the citizens who have responsibly made the voluntary returns, and recalls that the archaeological pieces are assets of the nation that cannot be on the market, since they are testimonies of the peoples who made and used them. Each object tells us a story that helps us understand our identity as a nation.”
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