Mexico recovers missing manuscripts from 16th century sold at auction

Mexico City, Sept. 24 (BNA) The Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it has recovered valuable manuscripts from the 16th century, including some manuscripts related to the conquistador Hernan Cortes, months after a group of academics announced their loss from the National Archives of Mexico, Reuters reported.

Academic investigators said that in an apparently systematic manner, 10 documents were stolen over several years from a collection intended for Curtis and then put up for sale at international auction houses including Swann, Bonhams and Christie’s.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter that US investigators and the New York attorney general’s office had recovered the documents.

Among the recovered manuscripts is a document from 1521 that reveals the political machinations of Cortés, who led the Spanish army that together with his local allies overthrew the Aztec Empire.

The academics said documents related to Curtis were in high demand, and nine more such papers were sold in US galleries, fetching tens of thousands of dollars.

The investigation team found the manuscripts by matching images posted online by auction houses with images from the investigation in Mexico’s National Archives.

The academics who tracked down the documents consisted of Michel Ojdek and Sebastian van Doesburg of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Rodrigo Martinez at the National Institute of Anthropology (INAH) and Maria del Carmen Martinez at the University of Valladolid, Spain.


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