The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Mexico asks to stop the auction of 83 pre-Hispanic pieces in Paris


Casa Millon will put up for sale on April 3 anthropomorphic figures, vessels and axes that left the national territory and are now in European private collections

Screenshot of one of the pre-Hispanic pieces that are being auctioned in France. Million

Mexico demands to stop a new auction of pre-Hispanic goods abroad.

The Ministry of Culture has demanded this Tuesday that the Casa Millon, in Paris, suspend the sale of 83 pieces on April 3.

The objects offered by the French firm are anthropomorphic figures, vessels and axes that are found in private European collections but that left Mexican territory years ago.

The Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador began an offensive to recover heritage abroad and has managed to recover more than 11,500 objects.

However, auctions of archaeological goods in France – and also in other countries, such as the United States – do not usually stop because local legislation allows them.

Experts from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) examined "the characteristics of shape, style, raw material, proportions, surface finishes and state of conservation" of each of the pieces, according to a statement released by the Mexican authorities, and determined that "83 objects offered for sale are Mexican archaeological monuments."

The artifacts were made, according to this analysis, between 1200 BC and 1300 AD and their styles correspond to the Olmec of the Gulf Coast, the Tlatilca of the Basin of Mexico, the Nopiloa of central Veracruz, the from Chupícuaro in the Bajío region, among others.

In Mexico, these types of objects are protected by the Federal Law on Monuments and Archaeological, Artistic and Historical Zones of 1972, which determines that the pieces cannot leave the territory without authorization from the INAH.

"[Its sale] is not only illegal, it is immoral," the Secretary of Culture, Alejandra Frausto, remarked on Tuesday during the


government conference.

But the pieces at auction are abroad and their sale is regulated by French law, which recognizes the owner of the property as the owner.

One of the pre-Hispanic masks that will be auctioned in Paris. Million

Although France and Mexico signed a "declaration of intent" in 2021 to "make the illicit trade of important pieces of Mexican historical and cultural heritage as difficult as possible," auction houses have continued to promote these sales because the law allows them to.

It is up to the firms, which are private companies, to stop them.

An emblematic case was that of the Binoche et Guiquello house, which in 2015 raised an alarm when the family of a collector showed up with a 400-kilo pre-Hispanic artifact cut into four pieces.

It turned out to be the

bas-relief of Xoc

, a 3,000-year-old Olmec piece that had been stolen 40 years ago and returned to Mexico after the notice.

But that has not been the constant.

Every so often a firm announces the commercialization of heritage objects and makes millions.

The auction announced for April 3 is detailed on the website of the Drouot hotel in Paris, where the sale will take place, and on the website of the Millon house.

According to the French firm, "several important pieces from large European private collections assembled in the 1970s" will be put up for sale.

The provenance of the pieces is one of the aspects that archaeologists always question because it is difficult to trace how these objects left the territories of origin.

Many times it was through looting or in the hands of scientists or explorers who took them out of the country when there was still no legislation to protect them in Mexico.

For example, one of the pieces in the catalog of the Millon house is the figure of a terracotta "mother earth goddess" who is standing naked and has a crown on her head.

The object, according to the same description, was made between 1,150 and 700 BC by the Tlatilco culture.

In the "provenance" section, the firm writes: "Former Yvon Collet collection, 1964. Acquired from Galerie Mermoz Paris, 2014."

In the Samuel Dubiner collection there was an Olmec vessel that since 2005 belongs to the Mermoz Gallery;

in Stéphane Janssen's there was a small gray calcite model that came from Guerrero.

The examples are repeated and in all of them there is a lack of precision about how the pieces got to the European collections.

“We make a call for potential buyers to set their eyes on the art of the current towns.

There are extraordinary pieces that may be adorning the most luxurious houses in the world.

Contemporary art in Mexico is also a power.

Visit and see this art that is being created right now, there is a market there”, Frausto asked.

The director of the National Institute of Anthropology and History, Diego Prieto, has also lamented that when heritage is looted "they lose most of their value" because it is no longer possible to recognize "their origin, their link with towns, cities, buildings”: “They only become objects of curiosity”.

Since the beginning of the six-year term of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico has recovered 11,505 pre-Hispanic objects that were abroad, as reported by the Government on Tuesday.

Much of it has been thanks to the awareness campaign

My heritage is not for sale

, which encourages the return of these heritage assets.

This strategy has enabled, above all, private citizens to deliver artifacts in their possession.

The last case was that of the French Marianne Fouchet, who gave the Mexican Embassy in Paris three figures that she had inherited from her father.

Thanks to actions to raise awareness about the value of heritage🇲🇽 and the importance of transmitting historical memory, today Marianne Fouchet gave us 3 pre-Hispanic pieces that she inherited from her father #MaxPolFouchet.

I appreciate her great gesture and her invaluable cooperation @SRE_mx #INAH

— Blanca Jiménez Cisneros (@bjc_agua) March 20, 2023

subscribe here

to the

EL PAÍS México

newsletter and receive all the key information on current affairs in this country

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-28

You may like

Trends 24h

News/Politics 2023-06-06T12:32:52.829Z


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.