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Couple returns an unusual souvenir

There’s an interesting story I saw this morning out of the newspaper in Grand Junction, Colo. A couple there, Rob and Beverly Elliott, have decided to return a valuable book to Mexico.

The couple was on their honeymoon in 1972 in Mexico City, staying at the Hotel Maria Cristina near the Zona Rosa, when they wandered into a book store.

An unbound copy of the 1907 book "Los Calendarios Mexicanos” caught their eye. The clerk, apparently thinking they would take good care of it, offered to sell the book. They plopped down somewhere around $50 and carried it off, storing it for decades in a cedar chest.

Turns out the book is quite a rarity. Written by celebrated Mexican historian Mariano Fernandez de Echevarria Veytia in the mid-18th century, only six known copies exist today in reasonable condition. The book contains colorful illustrations that appear to explain Aztec and Mayan calendars. And with all these predictions that the Mayan calendar predicts apocalypse a year from now, we'd all better get to studying...

The Elliotts told the Grand Junction Sentinel that they met a Mexican cultural official in Denver last year and decided they had to return the book to the Mexican government. 

Some time this week, the Elliotts say they will turn over the book so that it can be held at the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico City and “contribute to a better understanding of Mexican history by Mexicans themselves.”

 “We decided we’ve got to do this,” Bev Elliott said.


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An Amazing find indeed. It's nice that they decided to return such a rare treasure back to it's people.

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This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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