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Mexican president irked by French auctions of artefacts

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico’s president said on Monday French auction houses had gone beyond the pale with brazen sales of pre-Hispanic artefacts.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said some auction houses had gone so far as to send Mexico’s archaeological institute photos of relics, asking if they were genuine, so they could sell them for more money. López Obrador said he had issued orders for the government National Institute of Anthropology and History, known by its Spanish initials as the INAH, to stop responding to such requests.

“They, the organisations that auction these pieces off, are so brazen they ask the INAH for information, they send photos, so the INAH can tell them if these are authentic or fakes,” López Obrador said. The president also took a dig at the French government, which has done nothing to stop a series of such auctions in recent years.


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