October 21, 2021 3:37 pm
Mexico displays pre-Hispanic artifacts recovered from abroad

Mexico displays pre-Hispanic artifacts recovered from abroad

Miguel Angel Trinidad Melendez, of the National Coordination of Museums and Exhibitions of the National Institute of Anthropology and History, takes part in the launch of “The Greatness of Mexico” exhibition, displaying for the first time in the country more than 800 pieces repatriated from abroad in the last three years and others that were in safekeeping and confiscation warehouses, at the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

Miguel Angel Trinidad Melendez, of the National Coordination of Museums and Exhibitions of the National Institute of Anthropology and History, takes part in the launch of “The Greatness of Mexico” exhibition, displaying for the first time in the country more than 800 pieces repatriated from abroad in the last three years and others that were in safekeeping and confiscation warehouses, at the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

Miguel Angel Trinidad Melendez, of the National Coordination of Museums and Exhibitions of the National Institute of Anthropology and History, takes part in the launch of “The Greatness of Mexico” exhibition, displaying for the first time in the country more than 800 pieces repatriated from abroad in the last three years and others that were in safekeeping and confiscation warehouses, at the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Two Mexican museums have opened a massive show this week of 1,525 pre-Hispanic and historical artifacts, more than half of which were recovered from abroad.

Mexico has long had a problem with collectors or traffickers taking artifacts out of the country, even though that has been illegal since 1972.

But 881 of the sculptures, vessels and other artifacts on display in Mexico City were returned, either voluntarily by foreign collectors or through police seizures abroad. They were brought back from the United States of America, Italy, France and Germany.

For most of them, this is their first visit to Mexico.

Many of the other 644 pieces had been seized in Mexico or had long sat in warehouses. 46 of the pieces are currently on loan from museums overseas.

” What is being gained is the opportunity for us Mexicans see these pieces again or even for the first time,” Miguel Angel Trinidad, one the curators, said.

One example shows a Mayan stela that depicts a warlord grabbing a captured enemy. It was previously displayed in Los Angeles, California.

The show is called “The Greatness of Mexico” and features pieces from pre-Hispanic cultures such as the Aztecs, Mayas, and Olmecs as well as more recent pieces. These pieces will be displayed in Mexico City’s National Anthropology Museum as well as the colonial-era museum at the Public Education Department.

The show coincides with the 500th anniversary of the 1521 conquest of Mexico City by the Spanish, and the 200th anniversary of the consummation of Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1821.