López Obrador evaluates presenting an initiative to the UN for countries to return historical heritage to their nations of origin

López Obrador evaluates presenting an initiative to the UN for countries to return historical heritage to their nations of origin


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The president of Mexico described as a "colonialist policy" that some nations do not voluntarily lend the pieces.

The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, could present an initiative to the United Nations (UN) for countries to return historical heritage to the peoples from which they originate.

"I am seriously thinking that we present an initiative at the UN so that all that historical heritage returns to the towns where these pieces originate," said the president this Monday, in his usual morning conference.

Although he did not offer details on the timing or content of the initiative, López Obrador added that the exhibition of the pieces in the places of origin "must be guaranteed as a minimum," because when they are exhibited in museums abroad, only the elite of nations can travel and visit these exhibitions.

«The people will not have access. ¿Who goes to london?, ¿who goes to paris? Who is going to Madrid? Who is going to the Vatican? ”He questioned.

National treasures abroad

The Mexican president has once again put at the center of the debate the appropriation of architectural or archaeological pieces from Latin America that remain, mainly, in museums in Europe (Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom) and the United States.

On the occasion of the bicentennial of Mexico's Independence in 2021, López Obrador commissioned his wife, the historian Beatriz Gutiérrez, to request European nationsthe loan of historical and archaeological pieces from the Latin American country, to be exhibited during next year's celebration.

On October 12, Gutiérrez Müller met with the President of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen, to request, among other pieces, the loan of the plume that was supposedly given away in 1519 bythe Aztec emperor Moctezuma II to the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés.

However, as has happened for decades, the Mexican government was unsuccessful in this request. The Vienna Museum of Ethnology replied that Moctezuma II's plume is very fragile and any vibration "in the air or on the road would destroy it".

Gutiérrez Müller also met with the Italian president, Sergio Mattarrella, to request the loan of the Codex Fiorentino and theCodex of the Mexica culture known as Cospi.

In the same way, the writer visited Pope Francis in the Vatican to ask for the Codex Borgia(Codex Yoalli Ehécatl); the Vatican Codex of Nahuatl culture; theVatican Codex of the Toltec-Chichimec culture; as well as various maps of Tenochtitlán.

On October 22, López Obrador asked the President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, for his intervention to negotiate with the directors of the museums of the European nation the loan of theCodex Maya, which remains sheltered in the Dresden University Library, for the national festivities of 2021.

On the fact that some nations do not want to return the historical pieces voluntarily, López Obrador described it as a «colonialist policy »what "should no longer be allowed«.


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