Mexico urges Austria to return Moctezuma's headdress
The Mexican president said Monday that he had given his wife an "almost impossible mission" of persuading Austria to return a feather headdress allegedly worn by the 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 her cultural tour of Europe.
"I recommended her to insist on the Moctezuma pen, although this is an almost impossible mission as she has fully appropriated," he wrote after posting a photo of Gutierrez with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.
It is unclear how the headdress made of hundreds of long quetzal feathers and more than 1,000 gold tablets ended up in Austria, where it is on display in a museum in Vienna.
Historians believe that Emperor Moctezuma, who ruled from 1502 to 1520, likely gave the pen to the Spanish conqueror Hernan Cortes, who brought it to Europe.
Lopez Obrador's plea came on the anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus on the American continent in 1492, which Mexico calls Race Day in recognition of the country's mixed indigenous and European heritage.
sem / dr / ft
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