A news story said that this stone statue of a Mayan warrior goddess was fake.
A Paris auction house handled the sale of this pre-Columbian stone statue for $4.1 million.
However, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History said it’s a fake.
They said the height, boot straps, and posture of its legs were all wrong, and it was made recently, not between 550 to 950 A.D. as claimed. They also said that 66 other pieces of art in the auction were also fakes.
This makes a great story – some idiot buys an old statue for a crazy amount of money and it turns out he was defrauded.
But the French art auction house said their experts authenticated the art, and that past specialists never challenged it, and that anyway the Mexican experts only saw high-resolution images of the statue.
And the buyer who spent that crazy amount of money is not concerned.
So is there more to the story?
It could be that the Mexican government does not want Europeans trading in art it considers to be part of its cultural heritage, so they’re crying "Fake," which makes a better story than crying "Foul."
(There’s also a bit of diplomatic politics behind it, because of a feud over this French citizen jailed in Morocco…)
But that back-story is not as sexy and easy to understand as "Fake!"
– Mayan relic sold for $4 million is a fake? Yahoo News>>
– False God?: Mexico Says That a French Auction House’s Record-Setting Mayan Statue Is a Fake, Art News>>