Photo: Mexican Gov't Protests Antiquities Auction in France
The Mexican government has lodged a protest with French authorities over the planned auction later this week of antiquities at the Paris branch of Sotheby’s, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.
Sotheby’s plans to put the archaeological pieces, which “are the property of the nation,” on the auction block on Friday and Saturday, the INAH said in a statement.
“The government of Mexico has consistently officially expressed its disagreement with the international sale of protected cultural items, particularly archaeological items,” the INAH said.
“This practice removes these unique and valuable goods from their cultural, historical and symbolic essence, turning them into merchandise or mere curiosities,” the Mexican government agency said.
The Sotheby’s auction catalog was examined by INAH experts, who concluded that “there exists a basis to contend that of the 130 items identified as coming from Mexican territory, 51 are archaeological items that are the property of the nation, and the rest are craft pieces of recent manufacture,” the INAH said.