The Plume of Moctezuma is one of the most important objects that are still preserved from the existence of Tenochtitlan, it is valued in billions of pesos (EFE)
One of the great treasures that survived the conquest of Mexico and the creation of New Spain is the so-called Penacho de Moctezuma, one of the accessories that is protected outside the country and whose value amounts to millions.
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This feather crown is shrouded in myths about its origin and how it arrived in Austria, where it is currently located. It is believed that it was one of the things that Hernán Cortés received as a gift from the tlatoani of Tenochtitlan, Moctezuma, before he set foot in the city.
It is not known with certainty, but this diadem may have come into the hands of the conquistador when the emperor learned that a group of people had arrived in what we know today as Mexican territory.
There is no chronicle that confirms that the plume belonged to Moctezuma, it could have been one of the many precious garments of the Mexica (INAH)
In a possible attempt to let them know that he received them completely in peace or to make them leave, he sent several entourages with gifts, the first being some gold garments.
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However, far from making the Spaniards want to be friendly or leave with their hands full, it encouraged them to continue on their way until they reached Tenochtitlan. It is unknown how many times Montezuma actually sent these gifts, but Cortés collected hundreds of items that he then sent to the Spanish crown.
There is also the theory that it could have left Mexico from one of the many lootings that the Spanish carried out during the conquest.
The Plume of Moctezuma is located in the Anthropological Museum of Vienna and from this year Mexicans must pay to see it (EFE)
Now this piece is in the Weltmuseum Wien in Vienna, Austria, and will possibly never return to Aztec land because its transfer is almost impossible. It should be remembered that it was created around 1515, so it is very fragile and would run many risks. travel.
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The Moctezuma Plume is composed of different types of feathers, placed in rows, some are from quetzal, others from cowbird, as well as roseate spoonbill and bluebird cotinga.
In the part that is attached to the head it has gold pieces that join the feathers and before it had precious stones.
It is believed that this piece is worth around USD 500 million, according to different media.
The most recent attempt to return the plume to Mexico was carried out in 2020, but it was useless.
In 2020 Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller traveled to Austria in an attempt to reach an agreement for the Plume of Moctezuma to return to Mexico, but was unsuccessful. The museum noted that the crown is too fragile to travel (JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Currently, it is one of the most precious historical objects, which is why a lot of money has been invested in its conservation and studies and why the Austrian government refuses to return it to Mexico.
Currently there is an exact replica of this crown, it was made in 1940 and is kept in the National Museum of Anthropology and History, in CDMX.
People over 19 years of age who can go to Austria and visit the plume can do so by paying the 16 euros (320 Mexican pesos) that the entrance costs; minors can see it for free.
The piece from the National Museum of Anthropology and History is an exact replica of the original (INAH Digital Library)
It is unknown exactly how many things Hernán Cortés was able to take from Tenochtitlan and other cities, but the truth is that he planned to leave the territory with hundreds of gold bars that he made by melting down all the objects he found in the palaces of Moctezuma and his father.
It is known that the so-called Two-Headed Serpent found in the British Museum in London was made by Mexicas. It is unknown how it arrived in Europe, but like the plume, the strongest theory is that it was one of the many gifts that Moctezuma gave to the Spaniard. The same happens with the Mask of Quetzalcoatl.
Other objects such as the Tezcatlipoca Mask, which is also in the British Museum in London, were bought years ago in Mexico by collectors and taken to Europe.