Titanic Artifacts Go Up for Auction 100 Years After the Ship's Maiden Voyage Philip Kozloff/ Flickr

The federal government of Mexico is attempting to stop an international auction of several pre-Hispanic artifacts on a Dutch website.

According to the Ministry of Culture and the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), about 38 archaeological items that are part of the cultural heritage of Mexico are listed for auction on the Dutch-owned online auction platform called Catawiki. After finding out that the items are listed in the auction, the authorities contacted the online vendors and condemned the sale of the items, Mexico News Daily reported.

According to the Culture Minister of Mexico Alejandra Frausto, the historic, symbolic, and cultural value of the items listed in the auction is greater than any commercial interest. He called Catawiki and the vendors who have listed Mexican pre-Hispanic items for auction on their site and demanded they terminate the auction.

In addition to this, INAH has also filed a complaint with the federal Attorney General’s Office and notified Interpol with a view to having the items seized and repatriated.

The pre-Hispanic Mexican items listed for auction on the site include a clay figurine of a Mayan dignitary or priest, a stone Mezcala culture mask, and a terracotta figure of a warrior that originates from the region where the modern-day state of Nayarit is located.

The ancient pieces cover a timespan ranging from 300 B.C. to A.D. 1500. Bidding on the 38 items that are identified as Mexican cultural assets is scheduled to end on Sunday, Nov. 20.

The assets listed for auction that are deemed to be of pre-Columbian origin have a cultural affiliation with the styles of the Gulf coast of Mexico, the Maya area, the central highlands, the western shaft tomb tradition, and with the Casas Grandes culture, which was established in the territory now occupied by Mexico’s north.

Mexico has attempted to stop numerous international auctions of pre-Hispanic artifacts in the past. However, they have only had limited success so far since many items considered to be Mexico's cultural assets have already been sold at auction in cities such as Paris and New York in the past.

However, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, nearly 9,000 pre-Hispanic pieces have also been recovered over the past three years.

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