Theft of religious art in Mexico grows

There are around 19 thousand temples in the country with this type of art

Mexico City. The theft of sacred art in Mexico, which affects just over 26 churches each week, is aggravated by the lack of official inventories, said Mexican expert Luis López Morton. 


The problem is that inventories are not well placed; when you have them, you can compare them, “said the director of an auction house dedicated to the consignment of modern art such as antiques, books and documents. 


According to statistics from the Conference of the Mexican Episcopate and the Archdiocese of the Mexican capital, there are 19 thousand religious temples that, for the most part, protect sacred art.


However, the theft of sacred art in the country has increased 600% in this century and, on average, every week 26 Mexican churches suffer from thefts of oil paintings and sculptures, according to religious sources. 


Only between 2001 and 2010 it is known that more than 400 works of sacred art were stolen, corresponding to the viceregal period, which could reach prices of 35 thousand to 150 thousand dollars, according to the Mexican Episcopate. 


Puebla is the state that registers the highest number of theft of sacred art in churches; Tlaxcala, the State of Mexico, Mexico City, San Luis Potosí, Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Morelos, Jalisco, according to the Catholic Multimedia Center of Mexico. 


According to the reports, among the most stolen items are the paintings, sculptures, crowns and tabernacles.


It should be noted that the Virgin of Guadalupe is the most valued image among the stolen items, later purchased by private galleries, collectors and Mexican and foreign antiquarians.

Source: Excélsior , VivaVoz

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