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Belgium returns 1,000-year-old stolen Mayan mask to Guatemala

Belgium returned to Guatemala on Monday a Mayan jade mask more than a thousand years old, which had been stolen and illegally exported, the Guatemalan foreign ministry said.

Belgium returns 1,000-year-old stolen Mayan mask to Guatemala
The Mayan jade mask returned by Belgium to Guatemala
[Credit: Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs/AFP]

The archaeological treasure is dated between the years 600 and 900 of the Christian era. "The piece, made of jade mosaic, had been illegally exported by international traffickers," according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

The mask represents Chac, god of rain, thunder and cardinal points, considered one of the most important of the Mayan pantheon.

Its authenticity has been certified by Mr. Serge Purini, expert from the Royal Museum of Art and History of Brussels, according to the same source.

It was presented to the Ambassador of Guatemala in Belgium by Mr. Serge Lemaître, curator of the Museum's Americas collection. The object is of "inestimable" value, underlined the expert.

"The mask was seized in Brussels on October 24, 2008 and, after twelve years of trial, the court decided to return it to Guatemala," the Guatemalan ministry said.

The Mayan culture reached its peak during its classical period between 250 and 900 CE. It extended its influence over the current territories of southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Belize.

Source: AFP [September 17, 2020]


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1 comment :

  1. The court decided to return it? They should have been forced to return it. It does not belong to them.


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