Latin American countries claim for auction of pre-Columbian pieces in Paris

Latin American countries claim for auction of pre-Columbian pieces in Paris

The governments of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Peru demanded, through their embassies in France, for an auction of pre-Columbian gold and silver pieces that will take place next Monday in Paris, considering that these are practices “of illicit trade” that “undermine heritage, history and identity.

The auction, called “The Empires of Light (IV) European Private Collections of Pre-Columbian Art”, the Millon et Associés house will sell artifacts, statuettes and sculptures from aboriginal cultures.

“We object in the strongest terms to the sale of these objects and we make a public call to stop these transactions,” the foreign ministries of the countries involved jointly stated in a statement.

On its website, the Millon et Associés auction house offers a hundred pieces of indigenous Mayan art and ancestral Andean cultures from northern South America.

The sales catalog includes “sculptures of calípigas goddesses”, “beautiful idols from Mezcala with stylized Guerrero features”, “terracotta statues of shamans”, “anthropomorphic sculptures from Nayarit”, “pieces of gold and silverware from Colombia”, Mayan vessels and ” objects from the Andean civilizations of Ecuador and Peru,” according to the offer available on the auction house’s online site.

“We deplore that, once again, practices of illicit trade in cultural goods that undermine the heritage, history and identity of our peoples are maintained,” said the Latin American embassies in the French capital, reported the Ansa news agency.

In the message, the representatives of the Latin American embassies in France assured that the auctions only stimulate the “looting” and “illicit trafficking” of goods in the hands of organized criminals; and they are an attack against “modern archaeology”, because they encourage “illegal excavations”.

In addition to depriving the cultures from which they are extracted of their artistic past; to “undermine” global cooperation to protect and conserve this “cultural heritage”; of undermining the “integrity of cultures”; and to be the starting point of the

“counterfeit market”.

The Latin American nations involved reported their commitment to “active diplomacy” to defend their heritage, with full respect for French law.

And they asked those who have these “cultural assets of our countries” in their possession to return them of their own free will to “their place of origin” to study them in their context, as “elements of the living memory of the peoples

Latin Americans”.

Source: Ambito

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