Mexico stops auction of archaeological piece in Austria

The government of Mexico managed to stop the auction of a archaeological piece after identifying it as part of his cultural heritagereported this Thursday the Secretary of Foreign Relations.

It is a piece of rock that represents a fantastic being from the period Mesoamerican classic (400-900 AD) from the state of Veracruz and that it was going to be auctioned on Friday by the gallery Zackewhich agreed to remove it from its catalogue.

“The Embassy of Mexico in Austria reported that, as a result of efforts by the Mexican government, a archaeological piece Mexican from the catalog of an auction,” reported a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

Under Mexican law, all archaeological pieces must be protected as part of their cultural heritage.

“In a gesture of empathy and corporate responsibility, the representatives of the auction house offered to contact the owners of the piece with the intention of facilitating the voluntary delivery,” adds the Foreign Ministry.

The Mexican government has been actively campaigning Europe and United States to identify archaeological pieces that are traded by different galleries.

In recent months, Mexico managed to stop an auction in Italy while in February two Dutchmen returned to the Mexican embassy 17 archaeological pieces that had been in their possession for 30 years.

However, Mexico’s efforts were not enough to stop, on January 28, the auction of some 30 pieces in the french gallery million.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador described as “immoral” the archaeological auctions and called for them to be banned worldwide.

He also criticized Austriawhich has had for centuries a aztec headdress (crown of feathers) that is believed to have belonged to the emperor Montezuma (1502-1520) and that other Mexican governments have sought to recover or, at least, bring to the country for exhibition.

Austria rejected in 2020 a request from AMLO to bring the plume to Mexico as a loan, arguing that the fragility of the piece complicates its transfer, something that López Obrador dismissed.

The Mexican government said that some 6,000 archaeological pieces that were illegally removed from the country were recovered.

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