Hyperallergic: 'Mexico Asks Vatican for Temporary Return of Ancient Indigenous Manuscripts' By Valentina Di Liscia

Published 02 November 2020 in Insights

Hyperallergic

'Mexico Asks Vatican for Temporary Return of Ancient Indigenous Manuscripts'

By Valentina Di Liscia

Hyperallergic

Published 29 October 2020


Ahead of the 500-year anniversary of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire, Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador has requested several manuscripts in the Vatican’s library.

The year 2021 will mark a difficult anniversary for the Indigenous people of Mexico: 500 years since the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. Ahead of the occasion, the Mexican government has requested the temporary return of several ancient Indigenous manuscripts in the Vatican’s library.

One of the books requested is the “Codex Borgia,” recognized as one of the best-preserved of the few surviving pre-Columbian painted manuscripts. The colorful and exquisitely detailed screen-fold book, created in the central highlands of Mexico, is known for its illustrations of Mesoamerican gods and rituals. It also includes visual representations of the 'tonalpohualli', as the ritual calendar was called in the Nahuatl language.