MEXICO CITY (AFP) – Two Mexican museums this week opened a huge exhibition of 1,525 pre-Hispanic and historical objects, more than half of which were recovered abroad.
Mexico has always had a problem with collectors or smugglers taking artifacts out of the country, although this has been illegal since 1972.
But 881 of the sculptures, ships and other objects on display in Mexico City have been returned, either voluntarily by foreign coin collectors or by police seizures abroad. They were brought back from the United States, Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
For most people, this is their first time seeing them in Mexico.
Most of the other 644 pieces were seized in Mexico or had been in warehouses for a long time. Forty-six of them are on loan from foreign museums.
“What is won here is the opportunity for us Mexicans to review these pieces, or even see them for the first time,” said Miguel Angel Trinidad, one of the curators.
One example, a beautiful painting from the Mayan civilization, shows a warlord holding an imprisoned rival. It has already been shown in Los Angeles, California.
The exhibition is called The Greatness of Mexico, and the pieces on display come from pre-Hispanic cultures such as the Mayans, Aztecs and Olmecs, as well as more recent pieces. The pieces are on display at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City and the Colonial Era Museum of the Ministry of Public Education.
The parade coincides with the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest of Mexico City in 1521 and the bicentenary of Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1821.
“Thinker. Food lover. Furiously humble musicalolic. Longtime explorer. Twitter lover. Professional student.
“Bacon trailblazer. Certified coffee maven. Zombie lover. Tv specialist. Freelance communicator.”