Home Artifacts 17 pre-Columbian artifacts returned to Mexico

17 pre-Columbian artifacts returned to Mexico


MEXICO CITY, MEXICO — Two Dutch citizens have returned 17 Mexican archaeological artifacts after three decades in their possession, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday.

The return of the artifacts comes as Mexico struggles to recover thousands of archaeological pieces that had been illegally removed from the country – 6,000 have returned so far, according to official figures.

Hubert De Boer and Liesebeth Mellis, who had owned the objects for 30 years, handed over the clay pieces during a ceremony at the Mexican Embassy in the Netherlands.

It is unclear how the two came into possession of the objects, which include a few small human figurines and were made between the years 400 and 1521.

They were previously certified authentic by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History and came from several regions of the country, including along the Gulf Coast, the Central Plains and the Southeast.

“The pieces were made using the application technique of modelling, smoothing, incising and pastillage,” the foreign ministry said, referring to the handcrafted styles.

FILE – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during a press conference at the Palacio Nacional, in Mexico City January 17, 2022.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has called on France to continue allowing the unregulated sale of cultural heritage items from other countries after a recent sale of archaeological pieces from pre-Columbian Mexico.

Lopez Obrador also denounced Austria’s possession of a feather crown believed to have belonged to 16th-century Aztec emperor Moctezuma, which several Mexican governments have sought to return.