SAN DIEGO – Two families from San Diego returned to Mexico 64 archaeological pieces that were in their custody after being inherited by relatives. In some cases, the objects were made as early as 300 years before Christ.
According to the donors, these pieces had been in their families’ homes for years and they never imagined they would have such archaeological significance for the history of Mexico.
“This is the first or second time that someone from San Diego has brought an item into the consulate,” said San Diego resident Pete Mechelas, who said he was surprised by the lack of citizens returning such items.
Piece by piece, it can be seen in carvings, shapes, and textures that show remnants of a culture that includes the Classic Mesoamerican and Postclassic periods.
“It is a happy coincidence that a few months later, these two San Diegans came to us to ask about their interest in returning these items,” said Carlos Gonzalez, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego.
Norm, a Vista California resident, and Pete, of Point Loma, said relatives left them items that they felt the need to donate to museums in the area, in both cases redirecting them to the Mexican consulate in San Diego. .
According to Mireya López, director of the American Heritage Museum in San Diego, she was surprised by what she found when she opened the boxes.
“Pre-Hispanic artifacts of high historical value that have always belonged to the Mexican nation,” said Carlos Gonzalez, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego.
The objects, which were previously subjected to an expert opinion before the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), will be repatriated by air from San Diego to Mexico.
Among San Diego museums, he said it is rare for the community to donate a collection like this, adding that in Norm’s case the pieces have been in his family for 50 years.
Vista California resident Norm Werthman said, “I wish I knew more about it, it was a collection acquired by my father when I was a little boy.”
In the case of Pete and his sister Christine, they said their mother bought the pieces for about $2,000 as a favor to a woman who needed money for surgery.
Carlsbad resident Christine Mechlas said, “The story she told my mom is that her cousins were digging a house, I don’t know if they were building it or not, but they found these pieces piece by piece.” met by doing.”
The Mexican Consulate in San Diego indicated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would deliver these objects to the Secretariat of Culture and the National Institute of Anthropology and History for their conservation, analysis and preservation.
Carlos Gonzalez, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego, said, “I’m sure there are many collections like this in San Diego and throughout the United States, and I hope that anyone who sees this report will do the same.”
The Mexican consulate in San Diego said the objects belong to the cultures of Mexico in the north, west, northwest, central highlands, southeast and the Gulf of Mexico, which will be airlifted in a diplomatic bag.