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German citizens return 34 archaeological heritage pieces to Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico — The Ministry of Culture has reported the return of 34 archaeological pieces that belong to Mexico. The pieces were returned voluntarily by German citizens through the Mexican embassy in Germany.

The Ministry of Culture says that among the cultural assets there are bowls, vases and an anthropomorphic mask. The pieces are from the regions that occupied the ancient cultures of the Gulf of Mexico Coast, the Central Highlands, the West (Colima and south of Nayarit) and the Mayan area.

Among the recovered pieces are also anthropomorphic figures made of clay, bowls and vessels and an effigy along with fragments of anthropomorphic figurines. The Ministry says some pieces date back to the Mesoamerican Preclassic period (1200-600 BC), the Mesoamerican Classic period (250–900 AD) and the Post-Classic period (1000–1521 AD).

The objects were presented Wednesday in a virtual ceremony headed by the Secretary of Culture Alejandra Frausto Guerrero and by the Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón.

Marcelo Ebrard thanked them for their willingness to return the pieces to the Government of Mexico and stressed that it shows a change in the prevailing culture regarding the possession of pieces of this nature.

Specifics as to how many people were involved in returning the 34 pieces or how the pieces were obtained, were not made clear.

Last month, Sotheby’s New York auctioned 26 pieces that were considered archaeological monuments of Mexico. The Ministry of Culture and the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office in relation to the auction of pre-historic pieces.