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News > Mexico

Mexico Rejects Auction of Its Heritage Assets in Paris

  • A sample of Mexican archaeological objects to be auctioned in Paris.

    A sample of Mexican archaeological objects to be auctioned in Paris. | Photo: Twitter/ @LaListanews

Published 30 November 2022

Since 2018, President AMLO has recovered some 9,000 archaeological pieces that were abroad.

On Tuesday, the Culture Secretariat and the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) strongly condemned the auction of 85 Mexican archaeological objects organized by Maison de Ventes Aux Enchéres Millon et Associés in Paris.


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The auction "The Empires of Light III: Three European Private Collections" (Les Empires de Lumiere III: Trois Collections Privées Européennes) is scheduled to take place online on December 12.

Faced with this possibility, the INAH carried out an archaeological opinion and concluded that 85 of the objects to be auctioned are pre-Hispanic assets, which are part of the Mexican cultural heritage and are protected by the Federal Law on Monuments and Archaeological, Artistic and Historical Zones.

They are Teotihuacan pieces from the Gulf coast, the Bajio, the Mexican West, the Central Highlands, the Mixtec and Zapotec of Oaxaca, and the Mayan area. The archeological pieces have Mezcala, Comala, and Olmec styles.

The Culture Secretariat and the INAH filed the complaint with the Attorney General of the Republic and asked the director of International Police Affairs and Interpol to implement the necessary actions for the repatriation of cultural property.

On behalf of Mexico, the Culture Secretary Alejandra Frausto urged the Maison de Ventes Aux Enchéres Millon et Associés to stop the sale of the archaeological pieces, given that their historical, symbolic and cultural value is greater than any commercial value.

From 2018 to date, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has recovered some 9,000 pieces that were abroad. His administration has fought auctions in New York, Paris, and Rome and has intensified lawsuits against foreign governments to recover art and archaeological pieces.


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