Mexico's heritage was sold by French auction house

23/09/2019
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09:22
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Mexico's heritage was sold by French auction house
Despite the government's request, the auction house refused to cancel the event - Photo: Taken from Drouot Millon's catalog

Mexico's heritage was sold by French auction house

23/09/2019
09:22
Mexico City
Editorial
-A +A
In Mexico, people actively loot archeological zones and steal the pieces

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Mexico is one of the countries with the largest historical richness, which is found in archeological zones and museums but some of it is still underground and as yet to be recovered. Unfortunately, the prices these pieces can reach attracts thieves and counterfeiters who sell the pieces online.

The Federal Law for Monuments and Archeological, Artistic, and Historical Zones determined that these “archeological monuments, movable and immovable, are a property owned by the country, inalienable and indefeasible.” Also, in the 29th constitutional article, it is established that the person who finds archeological pieces “should alert authorities.”

Nevertheless, there are people who find archeological pieces and don't alert authorities. On the contrary, they sell the pieces online.

Today, EL UNIVERSAL uncovers several cases. In one of them, a person in Colima was selling an anthropomorphous figure on Facebook. In another case, a user was selling a pre-colonial stone ax for MXN $800, allegedly found in the area where the Texcoco airport was being built.

Another person asked MXN $130,000original pieces from a pre-colonial tomb” located in Xalisco, in the state of Nayarit; in June, the National Anthropology and History Institute reported the looting of a tomb in that same location. If you keep on searching, you can find necklaces, sculptures, and clay figures.

The illegal sale of archeological pieces does not only take place online. Last week, Millon, a French auction house sold 95 archeological pieces from the Teotihuacan, Maya, and Olmec cultures, as well as pieces that come from the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca.

If all the pieces and monuments are Mexico's heritage, how can the auction be explained? Are these pieces fake or were these pieces stolen from Mexico?. The Mexican government asked Millon to can cancel the auction and received the support of the UNESCO because the archeological pieces are part of Mexico's cultural heritage. In the end, the collection was sold for €1,200,000, over MXN $25 million, and the government filed a lawsuit before the Attorney General's Office.

The theft and falsification of archeological pieces are not recent phenomenons but it seems like authorities do not care, nevertheless, the Mexican government's reaction was adequate but the same assertive actions should also be implemented against internal looting. Mexico's cultural richness demands strong measures.
 

Artículo

French auctioneer rejects Mexico’s request to halt pre-Columbian artifacts sale

Despite Mexico’s efforts to recover over 100 pre-Columbian artifacts from its cultural heritage, and its call to the French government to take action in the case, auction house Millon proceeded with the sale amassing EUR €1.2 million
French auctioneer rejects Mexico’s request to halt pre-Columbian artifacts saleFrench auctioneer rejects Mexico’s request to halt pre-Columbian artifacts sale

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