The Vatican will not lend the pre-Hispanic codices requested by the Mexican government, since they would not be returned to Rome.
The Vatican doubts whether it can deliver to Mexico the historical codices that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador requested to commemorate the 500 years of the conquest, said the representative of the Holy Pope in Mexico, the nuncio Franco Coppola.
“We will have to see the details of the matter well, but some jurists have pointed out to me that Mexico cannot be lent anything because Mexican law prevents the return of the things that are lent because they are historical monuments,” Coppola said at a press conference, visiting Xalapa (Veracruz) this weekend.
On November 9, López Obrador sent a letter to Pope Francis in which he demands the Catholic Church to apologize to the indigenous people for the abuses of the conquest and asks the Vatican to borrow three historical codices and maps of Tenochtitlan.
The objective of López Obrador is to expose these objects during the commemorations in 2021 of the 200 years of the independence of Mexico (1821), the 500 years of the conquest of Hernán Cortés (1521), and the 700 years of the founding of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, current Mexico City (1321).
Coppola said that “for the moment it seems that the laws prevent there from being a loan” since if these pieces were sent to Mexico, they would stay in the Latin American country and would become a “gift.”
The Vatican representative also affirmed that Pope Francis has already responded to López Obrador with another letter.
“The Pope has already answered the president; he wrote him a letter acknowledging the historical reality in this meeting of cultures, races, people, peoples, there were surely some shadows, and there were also many lights ”, he pointed out.
Regarding the apology, Coppola recalled that it is not something “new”, since López Obrador already made it last year to both the Catholic Church and the King of Spain Felipe VI.
The apostolic nuncio stressed that the Mexican president does not make his request from a “position of superiority”, since López Obrador has said that the Mexican State must also apologize to the indigenous people.
“We must ask for forgiveness and at the same time thank the Lord for all the good that has come out of this,” Coppola said about the conquest.
Last week, López Obrador’s wife, Gutiérrez Müller, president of the Honorary Council for the Historical Memory of Mexico, was in Paris, Rome, the Vatican, and Vienna to close cultural agreements and get some of these pieces.
The most controversial request was that of Moctezuma’s iconic plume, as López Obrador criticized Austria for “completely seizing” this piece, made up of thousands of quetzal feathers attached with gold plates and claimed by Mexico for decades.
The Anthropological Museum of Vienna responded to the Mexican president that the plume, which according to legend belonged to the Mexica emperor, will not be able to be transferred to Mexico “at least in the next ten years” because it is “too fragile.”
Source: forbes.com.mx, heraldodemexico.com.mx