MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government said Thursday it will take legal measures to try to stop a planned May 18 auction of pre-Hispanic artifacts by the Sotheby’s New York auction house.
The National Institute of Anthropology and History says some of the artifacts are part of Mexico’s cultural heritage, and thus should not be sold.
The institute said it has appealed to Interpol to request legal and diplomatic assistance in the case. The institute did not specify which pieces it wanted returned to Mexico.
But the Sotheby’s catalogue for that date includes a serpentine stone carving of an Olmec head, a Maya stone carving which appears to depict a bat or jaguar and a serpent, and a clay pitcher in the form of a waterfowl.
Pre-sale price estimates for the pieces range up to $70,000.
Mexico has had limited success in recent years in its attempts to stop such auctions.