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Mexican Government Says $4 Million Maya Sculpture Sold in Paris is Not Pre-Hispanic
A sculpture of a Mayan warrior that sold for more than $4 million at a Paris auction house this week is a fake, Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History said on Tuesday. The masked, stone figure, sold by a private collector, was billed as an impressive piece of Pre-Columbian art and was believed to be a unique work dating from around 550 to 950 A.D. It sold for 2.9 million euros ($4.1 million) on Monday.


MEXICO CITY.- In relation to the auction of archaeological pieces held in Paris, France on Monday, March 21, by the Binoche–Giquello auction house, the National Institute of Anthropology and History and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores) informed the following:

The piece attributed to the Maya culture and that, according to several news reports, achieved the highest price in the auction, was manufactured recently and in no way belongs to any of the Prehispanic Mexican cultures.

This information was determined by INAH experts, after a thorough archaeological examination that was made before the auction and that included 203 images of the 207 lots that were auctioned. INAH experts established that 140 pieces are Prehispanic and 67 others were recently made, as is the case of the figure mentioned before.

According to the report, elaborated by archaeologists Alejandro Castillo and Alejandro Bautista Valdespino, the figure, that represents a person holding an axe and shield, was elaborated by a modeling and gum-paste technique which does not present a specific cultural style according to the sculptural corpus, it is in this manner that it is a free style that does not recreate any formal characteristic and/or stylistic of the mesoamerican cultures in the Mexican territory.

The figure attempts to recreate the features of the Prehispanic representations made in the Maya zone in Southeastern Mexico, but, the height (165.5 cms) as well as the position with the legs bent and the laces that hold the shoes together are not characteristic of this culture. The apparent erosion which can be observed was made to give it a deteriorated or antique appearance. Due to this, the conclusion is that it is a recent piece.







Today's News

March 23, 2011

Mexican Government Says $4 Million Maya Sculpture Sold in Paris is Not Pre-Hispanic

Unprecedented Collection of 182 Ferocious Prehistoric Shark Teeth for Sale in Dallas

Exhibition of Photographs Taken During the Shooting of "The Godfather" and "Taxi Driver"

Evening Sale of South African Masterpieces to Be Held at Bonhams in London

Art 42 Basel: The Premier International Art Show Announces Details of This Year's Edition

The Museum of Modern Art Highlights Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now

Sword Bought for Royal Marines Museum in Time for Battle Anniversary

David Zwirner Presents an Exhibition of New Work by Stan Douglas Inspired on Press Photography

Albright-Knox Shows Recent Acquisition of All or Nothing by Pipilotti Rist

Filthy New Exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in London Explores Importance of Dirt

Modern and Contemporary Turkish Art Auction at Antik A.S. Totals $ 9.5 Million  

Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth Announces Three Promotions

Museum of Glass Exhibition Opens at New York's National Museum of the American Indian

Chinese Ceramics from the Celebrated New York Dealer J.T. Tai & Co. Total $36.3 million at Sotheby's

Works by Dutch Designers Tejo Remy & René Veenhuizen at the Pacific Design Center

Russian Works of Art with Exceptional Provenance and Art-Historical Importance at Sotheby's

European, American Art Glass Anchors Auctions Neapolitan's March 26 Spring Selections Sale

After the Gold Rush at Metropolitan Museum Features Contemporary Photographs from the Collection

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Third Streaming Presents an Exhibition of Alvin Baltrop "Photographs 1965 - 2003"

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Selection of Old Master Prints Go on Show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin

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