The imperialist institution better known as the ‘British museum’ is today displaying thousands of stolen artefacts from around the world. The British have a criminal history in most if not all of these countries and have disguised their exhibitions as “collections” or “acquisitions”. It is not difficult to come to the truth if one does a little research on how these priceless artefacts got where they are now. I have traced some of the Mexican “aztec” artefacts in this museum to the people who donated or who sold them to the museum and found that all of the objects have been directly or indirectly stolen from Mexico. This is true for almost all objects displayed at the museum today.
Walking through the museum gates you are confronted with a humongous building that has an oversized Union Jack on its roof, proudly waving its beastly white supremacy for all to see. Europeans from Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal etc. flood the courtyard of the Museum taking pictures of themselves at this magnificent centre of accumulated stolen artefacts of colonized people around the world.
Security is tight and one of the first things you may notice is the donation boxes. These donations presumably go to the Museum itself and help sustain the establishment’s imperialist ventures. Walk a little further and you will find a map of the museum, very clearly divided into different sections: Africa, Americas*, Ancient Egypt, Asia, Middle East and Europe. I quickly notice that there are hardly any British artefacts or culture inside the British Museum. So I go and let one of the staff members know that I feel cheated that it’s called the British museum when all I can see is objects from all over the world and hardly any from here, apart from some condoms. She smiles and turns to walk away assuming I was joking. I carry on walking down the massive hallways decorated with ancient civilizations, with statues, ceramics, art work, sculptures, precious stones, jewellery, clothing, ancient scrolls, tools, weapons and even whole parts of ancient ruins. I feel sick watching the white descendants of the criminal European colonizers enjoying the, as they would perceive, “exotic” culture of my ancestors.
I finally make it to room 27, Mexico. First object I see is an ancient Mexica** sculpture of Xochipilli, the “flower prince” god of music and dance. He sits there facing the door, with a face that looks so pissed off that you wonder whether the ancestors who made him knew his unfortunate final destination in the land of the devils. William Bullock is responsible for this important sculpture ending up in Great Britain. He is described as a “collector” but I like to refer to him as nothing but a rich thief. He travelled to Mexico in the 1800′s where he was a high-ranking operative of a mine (silver mine); he ended up stealing hundreds of artefacts from the Mexican people.
I was standing there in disgust staring at the crime scene when I saw two fellow brown people walk in the room, I spotted them easily because all the other people around were European tourists. I walked up to them and asked them where they came from, to my surprise they were Mexican tourists. I told them I was investigating Mexican artefacts and wanted to know what they as Mexicans thought of their heritage being so far away from home. They replied that it was very unfortunate that they are so far away but are happy that at least they are not in a private collection and are being well looked after by the museum. I suggested to them that we are more than capable of looking after them ourselves, and that the Europeans have created this racist argument that we are too irresponsible to keep any important ancient artefacts because they might get stolen or broken by our backwardness. They looked at me as if I were mad, politely said bye and walked away.
Us Latin Americans, or more appropriately Nican Tlacans, are so white-washed by the Europeans that we do not notice that we have been robbed. We walk around room 27 of the British Museum thinking we are looking at some artefacts made by aliens in a distant land or another planet. No, these precious objects belong to the Mexica people and should not be in the hands of imperialist Britain. White supremacy teases us by arrogantly displaying our people’s belongings in their imperial rooms, with this they tell us that they are our masters and there is nothing you can do about it. If Britain is so respecting to other cultures then why have they not even considered returning the artefacts to the rightful owners?
As a people we must rise up and take back what our ancestors left for us, we the Nican Tlacan people have the right to demand that all stolen property be given back immediately. We must not rest until our continent is free and our belongings given back to us as well as reparations for all the suffering they have caused since 1492.
*the name America comes from Amerigo Vespucci a criminal colonizer of Italian descent. Latin America was known to the original people of that land as Abya Yala, Tahuantinsuyo or Nican Tlaca depending on what part you came from.
**White settlers have imposed names on the original people of the land now known as Latin America, the correct term for Mexico is Mexica pronounced Me-shee-ca.