San Francisco’s Mexican Museum is defending itself against criticisms surrounding the authenticity of some of its holdings.
In a press conference on Thursday, museum officials responded to reports alleging that more than 1,600 pieces from the institution’s pre-Hispanic collection were inauthentic or not deemed museum quality.
The original report was commissioned by the museum and published in June, and listed only 85 of the pre-Hispanic collection’s 1,774 holdings as fulfilling the requirements of “authenticity and a high degree of historical, artistic and/or cultural values.”
“Somebody thought that because it’s not going to be in the permanent exhibition, it’s false or a bad piece. But that’s not true. It means that we’re not going to use it in the permanent collection,” said Dr. Eduardo Perez de Heredia, a former professor and independent archaeologist who wrote the report.
Much of the conflict, according to Heredia, comes from a misinterpretation of his report. The small selection of pieces were approved for display, while the remainder must be further inspected using other dating techniques such as thermoluminescence or carbon dating.