French President Emmanuel Macron last year called for looted African artworks housed in France to be returned to the home countries from which they had been stolen. Now, he might want to add Maya art of the Americas to the lengthy list deserving restitution.
A major, long-lost stone carving of a bird headdress dating from AD 736, made during the classical heyday of the powerful city-state of Piedras Negras in what is today Guatemala, is scheduled to go on the auction block in Paris next week. Long sequestered in a private collection, the magnificent bas-relief carries an estimate of $27,000 to $39,000.
The sculpture was almost certainly stolen in the early 1960s from the ancient Maya site. It passed through the inventory of a prominent Los Angeles