Black-Market Antiquities Turned Over to Mexican Government

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The Leoff-Vinot collection, made up of more than 8,100 pre-Columbian pieces bought on the black market, was presented here Tuesday by its new owner, Mexico's National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH.

Considered to be the most important antiquities collection in Mexico in private hands due to the number and age of the pieces, some of them more than 3,000 years old, the items will be catalogued and researched in the archaeological zone of Xochicalco, located in the central state of Morelos.

Among the pieces in the collection are an offering box with an engraving of the emblem of Aztlan, possibly of Tenochtitlan (modern-day Mexico City), and two Toltec monoliths with the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl emerging from the jaws of a serpent, each of which weighs 500 pounds.

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