Mexico regains ancient statue known as ‘Earth monster’ from US

An enormous stone statue known as a “Earth monster” that dates to the Olmec civilization before the Christian period has been returned to Mexico from the United States, according to authorities.

The National Anthropology and History Institute (INAH) stated in a release that the intricately carved statue measures nearly six feet (1.8 meters) tall by five feet (1.5 meters) wide and weighs more than a ton.

“Our Consul Jorge Islas in New York confirms to me that Mexico’s most sought Olmec piece has been recovered and is about to return home, from where it never should have been taken,” Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard tweeted.

Olmec artisans were renowned for producing enormous stone heads, statues, and upright slabs. Their civilization predated that of the Maya and Aztec civilizations.

According to the organization, the statue was made between 800-400 BC.

The bas-relief sculpture, known as Monument 9 of Chalcatzingo, is located in the Mexican state of Morelos in the center of the country. According to INAH, it is thought to depict a “Earth monster,” a creature that frequently appears in Olmec iconography.

According to the statement, the sculpture’s open jaws represent the entrance to the underworld, and “on its mouth is projected a sequence of three concentric bands, representing the cruciform access to a cavern.”

Even though it is unknown how and when it was forcibly removed from Chalcatzingo, it is known that the archaeologist David Grove published it in the journal American Antiquity in 1968. According to the statement, it is believed that at the start of the second part of the 20th century, it was already in the United States.

The monument was discovered by New York authorities, but the location of its discovery was not disclosed in the press release.

Nearly 10,000 items have been recovered since 2018, according to authorities, as part of the Mexican government’s attempt to restore historical artifacts that have been stolen from the nation.

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