Mexico celebrates independence with an exhibition about its pre-Hispanic “greatness”

The Government of Mexico inaugurated this Monday an exhibition at the National Museum of Anthropology on the “greatness of Mexico” that brings together archaeological pieces and codices returned to the country from other nations and seeks to revalue pre-Hispanic culture.

“Today is a very special day, today we commemorate 200 years of our independence, today September 27. It will be a day of commemorations, of exhibitions on the greatness of Mexico,” said the president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, during his conference. press from the National Palace.

“The Greatness of Mexico” , explained the Secretary of Culture, Alejandra Frausto, is a great exhibition where more than 1,500 pieces can be admired.

“Of which more than 900 are seen for the first time, coming from abroad in temporary transfers or from warehouses of safeguards and seizures,” said the Minister of Culture.

This exhibition of pieces from the Mayan, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Aztec and Mixtec cultures will be held in two venues: in the Ibero-American Room of the Ministry of Public Education (SEP) -where 1,145 pieces are exhibited, and in the National Museum of Anthropology, where 380 pieces are exhibited.

Diego Prieto Hernández, general director of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), explained that among the objects are 264 national pieces, 879 repatriations from five countries -of the more than 1,500 that have been obtained in the last three years- , as well as two loans of artistic work.

Baltazar Brito, director of the National Library of Anthropology and History and curator of the exhibition, explained that the exhibition covers scenes of daily life throughout the centuries and although it is a long period it seeks to be “a mirror in which we can see our past all Mexicans “.

"The Greatness of Mexico"

The exhibition -which can be visited in both venues until April 2022- covers four axes: territory, spirituality, individual and symbolism.

RECOVER HERITAGE

The Mexican authorities stressed that the current government has worked to recover the heritage that is abroad.

In that sense, Frausto stressed that so far this government has repatriated 5,746 assets, the vast majority of them being archaeological pieces.

He recalled that only on September 16, Italy informed the Mexican authorities that an auction of 17 Mexican archaeological pieces was stopped and although eight pieces had already been auctioned, they were seized and are in the process of being repatriated to the country, which he described as an unprecedented act.

He stressed that for this the participation of the Carabineros unit for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of Italy was crucial, and whose commander, Roberto Riccardi, was awarded this Monday the decoration of the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle.

With their help, he specified, 633 pieces have been repatriated.

“Heritage is not sold, it is loved and defended,” he stressed.

"The Greatness of Mexico"

During the opening of the exhibition at INAH, López Obrador thanked the peoples and associations that preserved the historical archives and the memory of Mexico and for lending pieces, codices and documents for the exhibition.

He also expressed his gratitude to the United States, the Vatican and especially Italy, who, he said, “gave us pieces like never before in history . 

He stressed that the Government of Italy is an extraordinary example in what it confers on the recovery of stolen archaeological pieces and assured that “we are going to follow the example of Italy.”

For this reason, he has given the instruction for the National Guard to constitute a special team to recover pieces.

"The Greatness of Mexico"

PRESENT COINS AND REPRESENTATION

As part of these acts, commemorative coins were presented which alluded to the 700 years since the founding of Mexico City-Tenochtitlan; 500 years after the conquest of Hernán Cortés, an anniversary now renamed “indigenous resistance” , and the bicentennial of the consummation of the country’s independence.

For his part, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, secretary of National Defense, indicated that tonight there will be a historical representation on the seven passages that led to the consummation of independence on September 27, 1821.

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