Once again, French auction house to sell Mexico’s cultural heritage

08/01/2020
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15:41
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Newsroom
Once again, French auction house to sell Mexico’s cultural heritage
Some of the pieces to be auctioned in France - Photo: Taken from Millon.com

Once again, French auction house to sell Mexico’s cultural heritage

08/01/2020
15:41
Newsroom
Mexico City
-A +A
Last September, French auction house Millon sold over 100 pre-Columbian artifacts from Mexico's cultural heritage despite Mexico’s efforts to recover them

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French auction house Millon announced its sale “ Les empires du lumiére-Art de l'Amérique precolombienne” (The Empires of Light: Art from pre-Columbian America) that will take place on January 22 at the Hotel Drouot in Paris.

Have you heard of archeological looting in Mexico?

Among the pieces are some of Mexican origin, like in the lot 69 with “a venus with feline features and marked lips” that “symbolically represents a jaguar.” According to the information sheet, the sculpture belongs to the Olmec civilization and comes from Las Bocas, Puebla. Its estimated value is from EU €800 to €1,200.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Una publicación compartida de @arts_premiers el

Would you like to know more about the unstoppable looting of Mexico's cultural heritage?

A snake head carved in a cacao seed – a piece that represents the Aztec’s commerce – is in the lot 106 which according to a Millon expert was made between the years 1200 and 1520 A.D. and is valued between EU €15,000 and €20,000. Likewise, a sitting jaguar that represents the shaman transformation from man to animal is valued between EU €18,000 and €22,000.

The collection to be auctioned comprises 136 pieces valued from EU €120 to €80,000. The vestiges come from different collections, one was from the late Monsieur M., a man interested in pre-Colonial cultures since he saw a “Teotihuacán mask” when he visited the Hotel Drouot. Another is the collection of Gérald Berjonneau, who met Rufino Tamayo during his stay in des Arts décoratifs. While Berjonneau stayed in our country, he studied at the Saint Charles Academy and worked with Diego Rivera.

Did you know a rare Mexican feather work was sold at a Paris auction?

Four months ago, Millon’s controversial auction “Art précolombien. Dont collection Manichak et Jean Aurance” took place and sold pieces of Mexican cultural heritage despite the disapproval of Mexican authorities, while the French institution agreed to give back a piece to Guatemala’s government.

Now, the auction’s catalog warns that the origin and trace of the pieces are given by the owners of the collections and that nor Millon nor its experts are accountable for them.

On January 22, Millon sold 53 archeological pieces of Mexican origin, despite the National Institute of Anthropology and History made filed a complaint against the French auctioning house on January 3 with Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (FGR), according to archeologist Alejandro Bautista, deputy director of the INAH’S Registry of Archeological Monuments.

For the complaint, Bautista said that INAH issued an expert opinion that consisted in the revision of the Millon catalog in which they found 53 artifacts from Mexico: “Nevertheless, it was concluded that only 28 were of archeological value, that is, they were made in the pre-Columbine era, 22 are of recent manufacture, and there are three pieces that are not illustrated in the catalog, so it was not possible to study them.”

In the auction of 136 archeological pieces, Millon also sold the cultural heritage of countries like Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Costa Rica.

Have you heard a 17th century Mexican folding screen was auction by Sotheby's?

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