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British citizen returns 19 pre-Hispanic pieces to Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico — Heritage assets associated with the regions of the Basin of Mexico and the Central Altiplano, will return via diplomatic means. A total of 19 recovered assets are being returned to Mexico from the U.K.

In a joint statement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the INAH (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia), the 19 pieces are considered movable monuments owned by the Mexican nation, defined and protected in accordance with the Federal Law on Archaeological, Artistic and Historical Monuments and Zones.

At the headquarters of the Mexican Embassy in the United Kingdom, Ambassador Josefa González-Blanco Ortiz-Mena received 19 archaeological pieces for repatriation as part of a voluntary restitution effort.

The pieces, recovered April 30, correspond to the pre-Hispanic era and have been turned over by British citizen Michael Johnson.

A British citizen has voluntarily handed over the 19 pieces. Photo: SRE May 5, 2024.

Michael Johnson expressed his desire to voluntarily return the pieces and his intention to contribute to the actions of restitution of the cultural heritage of Mexico within the framework of the 200 years of the beginning of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the United Kingdom, which will be fulfilled in 2026.

Mexico has implemented a series of legal actions and strategies that have led to the restitution of Mexican cultural heritage located abroad, thanks to the joint effort of the Secretariats of Foreign Affairs and Culture.

The pieces have been dated to the pre-Hispanic period. Photo: SRE May 3, 2024.

Ambassador Josefa González-Blanco thanked Mr. Johnson for this act of generosity and friendship. Likewise, she extended a call for more British people and institutions to join this type of will.

She stressed the urgent need to safeguard Mexican cultural heritage, while consolidating and strengthening the ties of friendship between both nations.

The 19 pieces will be returned to Mexico in coming days. Photo: SRE May 3, 2024.

The head of the Foreign Ministry, Abel Escartín Molina, also participated in the ceremony along with the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Communication, Luis Fernando Gutiérrez Champion, the Minister of Political Affairs, Víctor José Koyoc Cuaich and officials and staff from the Mexican Embassy in the United Kingdom, including Jessica Cuapio Mercado.