German citizens voluntarily return 34 archaeological pieces to Mexico

Mexico has recovered 34 pre-Columbian artifacts that were voluntarily returned by two German private collectors, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.

“Two German citizens approached our embassy in Berlin to express their interest in returning archaeological pieces that were in the possession of their families,” said the Mexican foreign minister’s legal consultant, Alejandro Celorio.

The Mexican Culture Ministry tweeted details of the items recovered: “Among the cultural assets there are bowls, vessels, stamps, and an Olmec-style anthropomorphic mask.”

The mask, made of rock and from the period 1200-600 B.C., was just one of the objects dating back centuries. Others included anthropomorphic clay figures and a three-legged Mayan clay pot from the period 1000-1521 A.D.

  • The Nebra sky disc (Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt/J. Lipták)
  • 13 RECENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS IN GERMANY A ‘forged’ sky The Nebra sky disc was seen as a sensational archaeological find, believed to feature the world’s oldest known depiction of a cosmic phenomenon. It was found by treasure hunters with a metal detector in Saxony-Anhalt in 1999. First estimated to be 3,600 years old, German researchers are now questioning that dating.

Sensitive issue

Diego Prieto, director of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, highlighted the “growing sensitivity” in the global community about the need to respect cultural heritage and return artifacts.

The recovered pieces were handed over to embassy officials in May of this year.

Twenty-eight of the objects were in the city of Monheim am Rhein in western Germany and the remaining six in Recklinghausen, some 70 kilometers (43 miles) away. 

Source: DW



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