The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, July 17, 2019

US returns ancient artifacts taken from Mexico
Anthropomorphic clay figures belonging to the Teotihuacan culture are displayed at the US Embassy in Mexico City on April 9, 2019, as they are returned to Mexico. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), through the United States Embassy in Mexico City, returned Tuesday two archaeological pieces to the National Institute of Anthropology and History of the Mexican Ministry of Culture. ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP.

MEXICO CITY (AFP).- The United States returned two ancient figurines to Mexico Tuesday, seized from the home of an amateur archeologist who died in 2015 with a collection of 42,000 artifacts, many of them taken illegally.

The small clay sculptures date from the Mesoamerican classical period, around 1,300 to 1,800 years ago, archeologists said at a ceremony at the US Embassy in Mexico City, where the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) handed back the figurines.

The long, strange story of their return "started with a police investigation, and concludes today with this ceremony, in which Mexico is recovering two artifacts that are part of its cultural heritage," said Mexican foreign ministry lawyer Sergio Estrada.

The artifacts were found in the US state of Indiana in the home of a collector named Don Miller, officials told journalists.

Miller, who died four years ago at age 91, spent his life traveling the world, participating in archeological digs and collecting rare artifacts, which he displayed in his basement.

But near the end of his life, the FBI -- acting on a tip -- raided his home and seized more than 7,000 of those artifacts, which appear to have been removed illegally from their countries of origin, said special agent Edward Gallant.

"In the 1960s and 1970s, Mr Miller participated in archeological digs in Mexico and Central America," and that is when he apparently took the two figurines, Gallant said -- though exactly where and when he found them is unclear.

Miller, whose collection also included items from China, Canada, Peru, Iraq and other countries, was cooperating with the FBI before he died, and was never prosecuted, said Gallant.

The FBI has established a database of the suspect items in his collection, and is slowly working through the painstaking process of trying to identify and return them.

Officials said it would take time and research to establish more about the origins and significance of the figurines, which both depict seated men clad only in jewelry.

"When artifacts are illicitly removed from their places of origin, we lose meaningful information about the study of the past. And once that context is destroyed, there is no recovering it," said Estrada.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

April 10, 2019

Germany begins 'largest' return of Aborigine remains

US returns ancient artifacts taken from Mexico

Phillips to offer six works by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Researchers prove Leonardo Da Vinci was ambidextrous

Christie's Amsterdam Post-War and Contemporary Art sales led by the Jan and Tineke Hoekstra Collection

Balthus masterpiece leads the Dorothy and Richard Sherwood Collection at Christie's

Getty Research Institute acquires Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen archives

Exhibition focuses on the landscape in 19th-century paintings and photographs

Whitney Museum announces 300 recent acquisitions

Arts Minister steps in to save rare £3 million Baroque Cabinet for the nation

Hubert Burda Stiftung provides substantial support to Alte Pinakothek

New Auckland Art Gallery Director to focus on growth

Museum of Spanish Colonial Art premieres 'Paul Pletka: Converging Faiths in the New World'

Phillips names Graeme Thompson Worldwide Head of Jewelry

BAMPFA mounts first Bay Area survey of work by artist Frederick Hammersley since 2009

Magnificent Roman coin discovered in a ploughed field by a detectorist to be offered at auction

Jeremy Couillard and Rachel Rossin receive first-ever 'Phillips x Daata' Artist Commission

Exhibition explores what's bubbling away in the cooking pots of Homo helveticus

Sean Kelly exhibits recent large-scale color portraits and images of interiors by Alec Soth

Christie's celebrates 50 years of Russian masterpieces

Bill Reid Gallery explores water as an essential lifeway in timely Indigenous women group exhibition

Gray's sale will feature nearly 400 lots of fine art, furniture and decorative arts

Rachel Cusk's papers acquired by the Harry Ransom Center

Swann African-American Fine Art: Artist records for Amos, Leigh, Lovelace O'Neal, Pindell & more

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Original 'Star Wars' creators lift lid on special effects challenges

2.- Lost '$170 million Caravaggio' snapped up before French auction

3.- Mansell's 'Red Five' on pole for Bonhams sale

4.- Impressionism's 'forgotten woman' shines in new Paris show

5.- Sotheby's to auction the best-surviving NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

6.- Exhibition explores Dutch and Spanish painting of the 16th and 17th centuries

7.- Cyprus discovers 'first undisturbed Roman shipwreck'

8.- Sotheby's unveils 'Treasures from Chatsworth' with Leonardo Da Vinci drawing, Lucian Freud portraits, and more

9.- Infamous botched art restoration in Spain gets makeover

10.- 1958 Gibson Flying V Korina played by Dave Davies to grab center stage in Heritage Auctions' sale

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful