NEW YORK (AP) – Bonhams has carried out an auction of pre-Hispanic artifacts over the objections of the Mexican government.
Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History says at least half of the more than 100 pieces are fake. The country says the rest rightfully belong to it and has vowed legal action to reclaim the objects that are genuine.
Bonhams spokeswoman Lucinda Bredin says the British auction house takes such claims seriously and is evaluating the "new information" about the collection. She says Bonhams thoroughly investigates the provenance of all items it auctions to ensure it meets legal requirements.
The auction opened Wednesday morning in New York with about 15 people present. Bids were also taken by phone and Internet.
The collection includes ceramics, sculptures and vases from the Aztec and Maya cultures.