A portion of Plate No. 9 from the Piedras Negra archaeological site in Petén, dating back to the Classic Mayan period (250 AD – 900 AD), which was to be auctioned in France in September 2019, has been recovered by authorities from the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Ministry of Culture and Sports. Foreign Affairs in Guatemala.
In a statement published by the two ministries, it was reported that the recovery of a pre-Hispanic Guatemalan piece was achieved after joint efforts.
It adds that the request to claim the piece, submitted by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, was transmitted to the Guatemalan Embassy in France via Minex, who took charge of the corresponding procedures before the French authorities, international organizations and the auction house.
He adds that “due to the interest generated by the heritage value of the artifact, the owner of this pre-Hispanic asset that was of great value to Guatemala, and the organizers of the event have announced their retirement, and this is the first step in the recovery process.”
The document indicates that after that, negotiations for the voluntary surrender of the property began, and a positive response to the return request was achieved last July.
Minex and Cultura y Deportes detail that the public return of the Maya portion took place at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in Paris, France, where “the display of respect and goodwill, integrity and cooperation were valued for the benefit of Guatemalan cultural heritage and ancestral culture.”
The document states that the Maya piece will be returned to Guatemala in the coming months for display at the National Museum of Archeology and Ethnology.
The Ministry of Culture thanked UNESCO and UNESCO in Guatemala for the steps taken that allowed this pre-Hispanic artifact to be restored.
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