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Planned auction of Maya stone carving—likely looted from Guatemala historic site—causes furor

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, was 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.

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