French family brings back 4 pre-Hispanic artefacts to Mexico


A French family returned four pre-Hispanic clay artifacts to Mexico in a ceremony held at the Mexican Embassy in Paris on Friday.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who attended the ceremony, said the figurines, vessel and pipe – which may be over 2,000 years old – will be in the care of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. .

According to Íngrid Arriaga of the Cultural Institute of Mexico in France, three of the pieces come from western Mexico and one probably comes from the Gulf region of the country.

The two human-shaped figurines probably came from well tombs used in parts of the country where the modern states of Jalisco and Nayarit are located.

Arriaga told AFP news agency that the bulbous vessel returned by the family is typical of artifacts from western Mexico, while a pipe in the shape of a zoomorphic figure is typical of the Gulf region, home of the Olmecs. , widely regarded as the first civilization creators in Mesoamerica.

“Being able to recover these goods is a good thing for us,” Ebrard said at a press conference in the French capital.

“We are making progress every day to make illegal trafficking more difficult and recover our historical and cultural wealth,” said the foreign minister, who shared a video of the recovered pieces on his Twitter account.

The family who returned the artifacts requested anonymity. The day before their return, Mexican and French officials signed an agreement committing to strengthening bilateral cooperation against the illegal trafficking of cultural objects.

Mexico has stepped up efforts in recent years to recover pre-Hispanic artifacts that left Mexico – some of which were looted from archaeological sites – and found their way to private collections, as well as auctions in some cases. But he struggled to recover coins from France due to the laws of that country.

Auction house Christies sold 36 of the 39 Mesoamerican and Andean artifacts offered for sale in Paris in February, including 30 Mexican pieces. The auction, which raised more than $ 3 million, took place despite protests from the Mexican government.

With reports of AFP

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