Mexico is retrieving over 2,500 pre-colonial works of art - Link
More than 2500 works of art and historical objects are returning to Mexico. The restitution of pre-colonial cultural assets is an important part of President López Obrador’s cultural policy.
Mexico has brought back over 2,500 works of art and historical objects from the pre-colonial era. It is the “most important restitution of archaeological objects by individuals,” said Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard on Tuesday. The items, including stone figures, spearheads and vessels, previously belonged to a family from Barcelona, Spain.
April 17th, 2022:
March 09th, 2022:
The conflict over Montezuma's crown of feathers has created a "healthy distance" from Austria
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador pointed out that after Austria was asked to return Montezuma's crown of feathers, a "healthy distance" was established between the two countries and he emphasized that there was of course the necessary technology to transport it smoothly.
In his press conference, the president acknowledged that relations with the country of Austria had "cooled a bit" due to the 2020 refusal to return the crown.
"I'm not ruling out the possibility of the crown returning to Mexico. It's going to be a constant demand from Mexicans, whoever is in government, and not just because of the feathered crown, but because of many other pieces that have been taken illegally, that have been stolen from Mexico, and that are being sold at auctions," he said during his press conference from the National Palace.
February 23th, 2022:
Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador urges Austria to return Moctezuma's feather crown to his country
"We must insist that they give us back the headdress and that they give us back everything that has been stolen and belongs to the Mexicans," the president said during his morning press briefing.
"The answer was no, arguing that the crown would not survive the journey. The truth is that they appropriated something that belongs to the Mexicans, as they have appropriated everything else related to art and culture,” he explained.
And he described the meeting between Van der Bellen (Austria's Federal President) and Gutiérrez Müller (wife of the Mexican President) as "very uncomfortable" because the President didn't know much about the feather crown and was surrounded by people " who gave the feeling of being the owners of the crown."
"There was this refusal, a very arrogant and overbearing attitude, and there is no justification for the crown not being able to come to Mexico. We didn't even think (...) that they would give it back to us, that it is our own, no, it should only be exhibited,” he stressed. He also expressed his hope that the Austrian government would eventually change its mind about the iconic object: read
February 10th, 2022:
February 07th, 2022:
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador accused the Austrian government of "anti-cultural or selfish" policies because it refused to even bestow the sacred gold and feather crown of Montezuma.
In his Monday morning press conference at the National Palace, López Obrador pointed out that the Austrian government justifies it by saying that moving the piece would damage it.
He had written a letter to Alexander Van der Bellen, the Austrian President, asking that the pre-Hispanic object be loaned, not even returned, but "he refused it completely".
“Those who illegally have our crown argue that they cannot transport it, that they have conducted studies and that it would be damaged. They don't even want to lend them to us. Austria has a policy, I would say, that is anti-cultural or selfish, because the paperwork has since long been done."
January 21th, 2022:
Austria is preparing - our actions are successful!
Jonathan Fine, director of the Weltmuseum Wien since July 2021, will chair a new committee. A panel of experts is to draw up recommendations for a legal framework for the question of a possible return of colonially contaminated cultural assets. Austria, which is not counted among the former colonial powers, but had a strong grip on the market at the time, is now trying to develop its own position, according to the motto: "First the set of rules and research on the stocks, then the returns - if they happen because in any case it is ultimately up to politicians to decide.”
They claim this is "not a delaying tactic."
Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said very aptly in the press conference on February 7th, 2022: "The paperwork has long been done."
January 20th, 2022:
The SPÖ is committed to examining the possibility of returning the Aztec feather crown to Mexico! Parliamentary correspondence: here
September 05th, 2021:
After 500 years, the Mexikah people were officially recognized as an ethnic group by the government. Xokonoshtletl was present when the document was signed. Also a direct descendant of Motekuhzoma Xokoyotzin II.
August 13th, 2021:
Today is August 13, 2021. A day of mourning for Mexico, because exactly five hundred years have passed since the fall of Tenochtitlan by the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés. A year after Moctezuma's assassination, Cuauhtémoc, the last Aztec emperor, was captured. It was the end of one of the most incredible civilizations mankind has ever known.
With great violence and unknown diseases, an entire civilization was wiped out. Both the holy feather and gold crown of Montezuma and all Aztec treasures that are exhibited in many European museums today belong back where they were stolen from!
If we look at the cold and scientific description of our holy crown from the Museum für Völkerkunde Wien, we will find that it consists of 1544 pieces of metallic gold, of which 1171 are originals; the rest was replaced by brass parts.
I would like to give a completely different description: The crown consists of feathers of the HOLY BIRD KETZALLI (Quetzal), symbol for: Peace, beauty, duality (the Quetzal has exactly 2 long tail feathers) and nature (because of the green color of the feathers). The crown has 400 long feathers that symbolize wisdom, power, eternity and infinity. For Europeans "the feather crown" is beautiful, old and mainly "exotic", but for us Aztecs this crown is the bearer of the strength, power and wisdom of the ruler Motekuhzoma Xokoyotzin. That's why we want her back. That means the return of our ancestors.
An expert report from Austria states that it is impossible to transport them. We don't believe in this version! We have the technology these days. Where there is a will, there's a way!
If you have the opportunity, I ask you to support us and help us to raise our voices so that one day we can live in a world in which beliefs and cultures are respected.
August 5th, 2021:
France is preparing to commemorate the fall of Tenochtitlán with a projection
2021 will mark the 500th anniversary of the fall of the great Tenochtitlán by the Spanish invaders, led by Hernán Cortés.
There will be special events not only in Mexico. In France, it is expected that one of the most emblematic churches in the country will present a light show and projection.
August 3th, 2021:
MEXICO RECEIVES 750 ARCHAEOLOGICAL PIECES RETURNED FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
As announced last week by Diego Prieto, director of the National Institute of Anthropology and History, the Mexican government will finish the return of around 750 finds and historical heritage items to Mexico, result of efforts over the course of 2020 and 2021.
Some of the pieces have been confiscated by other nations' judicial authorities, and others are voluntary returns from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Australia, France and the United States.
In this context, Minister of Culture Alejandra Frausto pointed out that "this important reintegration into national heritage is part of the symbolic commemorations planned for 2021".
June 16th, 2021:
German families give back art treasures
Stone masks and figures that are more than thousands of years old have changed hands: two families from North Rhine-Westphalia handed over 34 works of art to Mexico. Foreign Minister Ebrard spoke of an encouraging result.
"There is a rethinking."
Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and Culture Minister Alejandra Frausto thanked them for the voluntary return. This might not have been possible a few years ago, said Ebrard.
Among the pieces are a human-like stone mask in the style of the Olmec civilization from the Mesoamerican pre-classical period, dated between 1200 and 600 BC. There were also several human figures and vessels made of clay from the ages of Classical (250-900 AD) and post-classical culture (1000-1521).
April 30th, 2021:
Germany returns Benin bronzes!!!
The Benin bronzes, centuries-old sculptures from what is now Nigeria, are exhibited in many European museums. Germany wants to start giving them back in the coming year.
The Benin bronzes are metal plaques and sculptures from the 16th to 18th centuries that once adorned the royal palace in the Kingdom of Benin in what is now Nigeria. After the British invaded at the end of the 19th century, they were stolen and ended up as looted art in European museums.
The Nigerian government has been demanding the return of the art treasures for years. There they were pleased with the announcement. A return of the Benin bronzes is of crucial importance for the whole country, said the director of the Nigerian Commission for Museums and Monuments, Abba Isa Tijani, the Catholic News Agency (KNA). "Up to now, 90 percent of the population has not had a chance to see them," he emphasized. Tijani described the return as an admission of the fact that the works of art had been stolen from Nigeria.
January 18th, 2021:
Protest march to the Austrian Embassy in Mexico City on January 18th, 2021: GIVE OUR HOLY FEATHER AND GOLD CROWN BACK TO US!!!
Tlahtokan Mexica del Valle de Anahuak - an association that represents many groups with a total of approx. 350,000 people in Mexico City presented a letter to the Embassy of Austria in Mexico this year in January 2021 with the request: Give us our feather crown back!!!
Attention: We would like to emphasize that we do not want ALL the MANY objects that are still there in the Vienna Museum OF US... we only want the holy feather and gold crown of our Aztec Emperor Montezuma!!!
October 12th, 2020:
Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced a new initiative to recover historical objects on the anniversary of the arrival of the navigator Christopher Columbus (October 12, 1492) on the American continent.
His wife Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller, journalist and writer, traveled to several European capitals to collect historical art objects on his behalf, which are stored in European museums. These are to be exhibited in Mexico during Mexico's celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of the total destruction by the Spanish invaders in 2021.
At a meeting with Austria's Alexander van der Bellen, she asked for the valuable piece back for Mexico.
In a letter to Pope Francis, the President also asked the Catholic Church and the country of Spain to apologize for the atrocities committed against indigenous peoples during the invasion of Mexico in the 16th century.
As early as March 2019, Mexico's President had written letters asking the King of Spain and the Pope to apologize for the Spanish conquest and subjugation of the indigenous peoples in the 16th century. It was an invasion during which the peoples were arbitrarily subjugated, said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in a video message published on social networks.
He had the letters to Pope Francis and King Felipe VI. sent so that the grievances would be noticed and the peoples affected received an apology for the violation of human rights, said López Obrador.
"There was massacre and repression," says the video. The Spanish conquest took place with sword and cross. "They built their churches on top of the temples," said López Obrador, standing in front of the ruins of the Maya site of Comalcalco (Tabasco) in southern Mexico.
The time for reconciliation has come, said the president. "But first they need to apologize." He will also apologize for crimes against indigenous peoples and other minorities after Mexico gained independence from Spain.
He hopes that 2021 will be a year of "historic reconciliation".
The Spanish government as well as the Vatican have so far refused an apology. A return of the feather crown with reference to its "alleged fragility" continues to be refused.
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