arts

Mexico recovers three ancient artifacts from Italy

Published 30th October 2021
Mexico retrieved three ancient relics that were stolen and returned by Italy, as part of the country's global campaign to reclaim its artifacts.
Credit: Mexico's Foreign Relations Ministry
Mexico recovers three ancient artifacts from Italy
Written by Reuters
Mexico on Friday recovered three ancient artifacts that were stolen and bound for auction in Italy as the Latin American country holds a global campaign to recover its art and relics.
The items, which are more than 2,300 years old, are a clay pot adorned with human figures and two ceramic human faces.
Italy's Unit for the Protection of Cultural Heritage confiscated the pieces during an inspection of artifacts for auction, officials said. The items had been illegally exported from Mexico, Italian investigations found, according to Mexico's foreign ministry.
"The people who buy these pieces, who traffic these pieces, are criminals. You share responsibility if you buy something stolen," Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said at an event in Rome where officials returned the artifacts.
Two of the artifacts Mexico recovered: clay figurines from the Teotihuacan culture of the Mesoamerican Classic era (250-600 AD).
Two of the artifacts Mexico recovered: clay figurines from the Teotihuacan culture of the Mesoamerican Classic era (250-600 AD). Credit: Mexico's Foreign Relations Ministry
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard (left) and Italian General Roberto Riccardi (right) celebrate Mexico's recovery of the three relics.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard (left) and Italian General Roberto Riccardi (right) celebrate Mexico's recovery of the three relics. Credit: Mexico's Foreign Relations Ministry
Italy has so far returned 650 ancient and religious items to Mexico since 2013, the Mexican foreign ministry said.
"It's justice, it's universal culture. We have to return to a country the things that belong to it," Italian General Roberto Riccardi, who led the team that returned the artifacts, said on Twitter.
In September, Mexico's foreign ministry recovered stolen documents linked to conquistador Hernan Cortes due for auction with the aid of U.S. investigators.