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The Mexican president said on Monday that he had given his wife the “almost impossible mission” to persuade Austria to return a feather headdress allegedly worn by Aztec Emperor Moctezuma.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced on Twitter that he had asked journalist and writer Beatriz Gutierrez to appeal to Austria to return the pre-Hispanic relic during his cultural tour of Europe.
“I recommended that she insist on the panache of Moctezuma, even if it is an almost impossible mission, since they have completely appropriated themselves,” he wrote after posting a photo of Gutierrez with the president Austrian Alexander Van der Bellen.
It is not known exactly how the headdress, made up of hundreds of long quetzal feathers and more than 1,000 gold plates, ended up in Austria, where it is on display in a museum in Vienna.
Historians believe that Emperor Moctezuma, who reigned from 1502 to 1520, likely gave the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes panache who took him to Europe.
Lopez Obrador’s appeal was made on the anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492, which in Mexico is marked as Race Day in recognition of the mixed indigenous and European heritage of the country.
© 2020 AFP