GUATEMALA CITY - Guatemala called on France to stop a private auction scheduled for next week in Paris, in a lot of Latin American antiquities, including thirteen of the ancient Mayan culture from the Central American country, officials said.
The Guatemalan Ministry of Culture said in a statement that the embassy of the country in France formally asked the Parisian authorities "intervene" for the auction house Sotheby's is scheduled to perform on 22 and 23 March next be suspended because the pieces that aims to sell are legitimate property of the Guatemalan state.
The pieces that Sotheby's plans to auction, about 300 in all from the Barbier Mueller Museum of Barcelona which closed its doors earlier this year, and according to the Guatemalan authorities possessed illegally.
"The State of Guatemala expects French authorities involving the auction and enforce the requests made by the Latin American countries involved, and you cannot allow private collectors unlawfully enrich themselves at the expense of American pre-Hispanic cultural heritage" the ministry said.
The claim that Guatemala runs, "is based on the Guatemalan legal rules protecting cultural heritage, which constitutionally prohibits the sale or export of those goods that make up the cultural heritage such as archaeological," he added.
"The tenure of the 13 archaeological Guatemalan holders by Barbier Muller Collection cannot be considered legal, and according to law, under the description given by the owners of the collection pieces are credited to from Guatemalan Mayan Culture."
Artifacts that Sotheby's plans to auction come from archaeological sites in Mexico, Central and South America.
Courtesy Emisoras Unidas
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