Related Encyclopedia Entries
A Nahuatl Codex legally exported from Mexico to France in the 19th century and stolen from the Bibliothèque National in 1982...
El Manatí Wooden Olmec Busts
A collection of small Olmec figural carvings found in a single archaeological context. Busts of this style have been seen on the art market and have been seized from the collection of dealer Leonardo Patterson. Some questions have been raised around issues of authenticity.
A Maya codex of questionable authenticity that appeared on the market in 1971.
Las Bocas-style Figurines
A popular style of Olmec figurine said to be from the Mexican site of Las Bocas that was defined entirely by looted material that appeared on the art market.
Las Limas Monument 1
Well-known Olmec greenstone statue stolen from a Mexican museum and abandoned in a Texas hotel room after traffickers were unable to sell it.
Maya ‘Fresco’ Fake
Antiquities dealer Leonardo Patterson convicted of federal wire fraud for attempting to sell a fake Maya ‘fresco’
Maya antiquities sold at Sotheby’s in 1995
Two pre-Columbian antiquities offered for sale by Sotheby’s New York in 1994, were later found in photographs taken by an admitted artifact looter and smuggler.
Mosaic Maya Mask
Mosaic stone mask said to have been looted from a Mexican cave and now in the collection of Dumbarton Oaks.
Museo Nacional de Antropología Theft
Museum theft at Mexico’s national museum which resulted in the loss of several of the country’s most famous artefacts. These artefacts were later recovered.
Placeres Stucco Temple Facade
A large Maya temple decoration that was located in 1968, a rare example of photographic documentation of the looting process.
Western Mexican Shaft Tombs
A cultural tradition known for its ceramic figurines, nearly all of which have surfaced as a result of illicit and illegal looting.
Formative period ‘Mezcala’ figurines from Mexico that are popular on the art market but have never been found in an archaeological excavation.