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.