A Stolen 1527 Record Signed by Cortés Will Be Returned to Mexico
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For roughly 30 years, a 16th-century purchase order signed by the conquistador Hernán Cortés, who led the overthrow of the Aztec empire for the Spanish ...
...crown, had been missing from Mexico’s national archives and, instead, had made its way to private auction blocks across the United States.
The document from 1527 was stolen from the Archivo General de la Nación de México in Mexico City sometime before 1993, according to a court filing by the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts.
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“Without manuscripts, we can’t write history,” she said.
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The manuscript is a payment order signed by Cortés on April 27, 1527, instructing his butler, Nicolás de Palacios Rubios, to purchase “pink sugar” from the pharmacy in exchange for 12 gold pesos.
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According to the Mexican authorities, the collection was declared national property and was cataloged in 1929. That ...
...person then contracted with RR Auction in Massachusetts, where the document was put up for auction in June.
The item was then removed from the auction house’s website.
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“As soon as we got contacted, we put a stop to the sale, we notified the consignor, and there was no issue from them,” said Mark S. Zaid, a lawyer for RR Auction.
Dr. Ramirez said trafficking of missing archival items was pervasive across Latin America.
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“Until the archives are more professionalized, this will continue happening.”
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