Austrian Times RSS FeedsLike the Austrian Times Facebook page!Follow us on Twitter!


Events for October
M T W T F S S
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
Add your event FREE

Today

Videos


BurgKino

Pub Quiz everyTuesday at Johnny's Pub

Popular in Austria


Cosmo&Nanu

Last Aztec kings 500-year-old peace offering back on display

A priceless headdress once worn by the last Aztec king who hoped that by giving it to the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes it would lead to peace has been saved from falling apart after a two year restoration process by more than a dozen experts.

Cortes accepted the gift from Emperor Montezuma II in 1519 but it did not stop him laying waste to the Aztec capital in Mexico. The headdress however survived the destruction of the city of  Tenochtitlan where it was made and it was sent back as one of the spoils of war to the King of Spain, Don Carlos of Austria.

Ironically the gift that was intended as a sign of peace was used as part of Cortes' efforts to win the crown's support for his planned march to Tenochtitlan and the end of the Aztecs.

Once overseas, the headdress changed hands several times, making stops in the collections of European royalty such as Archduke Ferdinand Von Tirol where it was mentioned in 1521, before landing in the Museum of Ethnology in Vienna in 1880.

The item was taken off public view two years ago after it was noted the flamingo and other feathers that adorned it were starting to fall apart - sparking a painstaking two year restoration project.

The director of the Kunsthistorischen Museums (KHM) to which the Museum of Ethnology belongs is Sabine Haag, who said. "Given its past it is a miracle that this item even exists today. It is by far our most important object."

She said that media reports of a tug of war with Mexico that reportedly wanted the artefact back were no longer an issue and had been hyped up by the press. Former Mexican President Abelardo Rodriguez, who held office from 1932 to 1934, paid out of his own pocket to have the replica made after seeing the original while visiting Vienna.

Haag said that the question of whether the headdress would ever be allowed back to Mexico on loan was still open, but would be hard after the Austrian Committee for Cultural Heritage ruled that it was not suitable for transport.

Its present flat appearance dates back to the restoration carried out in 1878 that had mistakenly identified the feather head-dress as a standard.

Haag said: "The feather head-dress comprises a wealth of different materials: organic ones such as feathers, plant fibres, wood, leather, paper and textiles, but also non-organic materials such as gold and gilded brass.

"The friction and abrasions caused by these materials and the artefact's age have compromised its state of preservation and complicated its conservation. The ageing process of the organic materials has resulted in irreparable, brittle and fragile areas.

"Although the object has been stabilized with careful interventions and preventive conservation measures its original condition cannot be recreated. However, after careful cleaning and various conservation measures the feather head-dress can now be put on public display again after an absence of many years."

Austrian Times


Are you on Facebook? Like the Austrian Times on Facebook and win great prizes!


Cosmo and Nanu
ORF Watch

Tag cloud:
headdress  Aztec  restoration  kings  Haag  Mexico  Austria  Museum  peace  conservation  artefact  gift  interventions  feathers  original  Tenochtitlan  Vienna  Cortes  Ethnology  materials

Latest News

 

MEP caught In Brit papers Fraud Probe Jailed
A corrupt MEP caught by a British newspaper offering to propose amendments to EU laws in exchange for 100,000 euros a year has been given a three-year-jail term.

Vienna Jihad Girls Want To Come Home
The two Austrian teenage girls who became ‘poster girls’ for the jihad in Syria are now desperate to come home after getting completely disillusioned with their new lifestyles.

Mega-Station Opens
There was a festival atmosphere as Bundespresident Heinz Fischer opened Vienna's new Hauptbahnhof Friday morning.

Apple Truck Causes Traffic Jam
When 24 tonnes of apples are catapulted across a road it can only mean a jam.

Farmer Cleared Over Wolf Shooting
Furious animal rights campaigners have accused an Austrian farmer of lying after he shot dead a wolf that he claimed he thought was a fox.

Rare Bald Ibis Makes Microlight Flight To Italy
The project to introduce an extinct bird back to Europe is hailing success after successfully negotiating a new route over the Alps and training 14 Northern Bald Ibises how to fly south to winter feeding grounds in southern Tuscany.

Pat On The Back From Manure Explosive
A traffic cop in Austria got more than he bargained for after a booby trap covered him head-to-toe in manure as he was trying to catch people speeding.

Viennese Jihad Girl May Have Been Killed
Austrian police say that one of the two attractive young teenage girls who fled the country to go to Syria to fight on the side of Islamic rebels may have been killed.

Perversion of a Medical Dream
The Decline and Fall of the Otto Wagner Hospital, Vienna.

Fat Can Be Used To Burn Off Weight After New Patent Unveiled
It is being hailed as a sensation after scientists at an Austrian university patented a method that transforms fat storing cells into mini factories capable of actually destroying fat by burning it off.

 


Mala Vrata

The most popular stories –
last 7 days



Don't moan alone, the Ombudsman Investigates.

Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.

Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.


Austrian Zimmers