Ancient carving stolen decades ago in Mexico found in France
A nearly 3,000-year-old carving stolen more than four decades ago from a remote area of southern Mexico has been recovered in France.
John Clark, a professor of archaeology at Brigham Young University who learned about the find Thursday, said the carved sculpture showed the extent of the Olmec’s reach in an area of Chiapas better known for ties to the Maya. In the decades since the theft, he said, scholars have made due with a replica created by examining archive photos of the piece.
The Olmec are best known for their enormous carved heads and are considered one of the founding cultures of Mesoamerica.
Dominique Michelet, a French archaeologist at the CNRS research center involved in recovering the piece, said Thursday the bas relief is believed to represent a priest.
Clark said chunks of the cut-out stone were missing, but it appeared largely intact.