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Mexico demands Sotheby's halts auction of pre-Columbian artifacts

Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History has demanded Sotheby's withdraw from sale 51 pieces of the Barbier-Mueller Collection of Pre-Columbian Art.

Sothebys auction Enlarge
Sotheby's will auction the 300-piece Barbier-Mueller Collection of Pre-Columbian Art in Paris on Friday and Saturday. (ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Mexico has demanded Sotheby’s withdraw from auction 51 pre-Columbian Mexican artifacts.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History said in a statement Wednesday it had contacted the French foreign ministry seeking assistance to halt the auction scheduled in Paris for Friday and Saturday.

Experts analyzed the pieces contained in the 300-piece Barbier-Mueller Collection of Pre-Columbian Art and determined that 51 of the 130 objects advertised as being from Mexico were archeological artifacts that belong to Mexico, El Universal reported.

“The rest are recently manufactured handicrafts,” the institute said in the statement, adding it had asked Sotheby's to withdraw the pieces from sale. 

But Sophie Dufresne, a spokeswoman for Sotheby’s in Paris, told the Associated Press that the sale “is going forward as planned.”

Could this spark another diplomatic spat between the two countries? 

More from GlobalPost: Florence Cassez, Frenchwoman jailed in Mexico for kidnapping, returns home to hero's welcome
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/mexico/130321/mexico-sothebys-auction-pre-columbian-artifacts-Barbie-mueller-collection