Austrian authorities have denied a request from President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that the famed headdress of Aztec Emperor Moctezuma be loaned to Mexico by the Museum of Ethnology of Vienna for next year’s bicentennial celebrations commemorating the consummation of Mexican Independence in 1821.
The president’s wife, Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller, is currently on a European tour to dialogue with heads of state regarding the loan of codices and archaeological and historical objects. She made the plea for the return of the headdress during an audience with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.
“The headdress is too fragile, and cannot be moved, at least for the next ten years,” said museum curator Gerard van Bussel. He said the treasured item is made up mainly of organic material and that any vibration in transit could destroy it.
Van Bussel said the headdress isn’t even moved within the museum for fear that it could suffer damage.