The New INM Regs Part V – The Penacho Plan

It was simple. Whilst in Vienna, Mrs P and I would enter the Museum of Ethnology, cunningly disguised as tourists. We’d make our way to the Penacho, and whilst Mrs P distracted any museum staff member present, I’d snatch the Penacho and slip out of a side exit. We’d return to Mexico as heroes. Visa? Who needs a visa when you have brought the Penacho back home?! Surely this sort of patriotic deed would be worthy of instant honorary citizenship? After all, Luis Miguel (the Puerto Rican singer) was granted citizenship when his illegal status was uncovered, and that was just for a few songs here and there over the years.


Alas, our grand scheme didn’t go quite according to plan. It’s hard to put a finger exactly on what went wrong, but the fact that we were both frozen to the bone by minus 7 degree Celsius temperatures didn’t help. Also, the museum guard was not of the distractable kind.  She was also a fearsome looking beast. I wouldn’t have wanted a wrestle with her. We left, sadly, without the Penacho. Moctezuma’s feathered headdress will have to remain in Vienna for now. This also means I will need to grind on with the standard procedures for obtaining a visa. The next step will be in January, when we go up to the Mexican Embassy in London to present all our papers.  Such is life.

The Mexican authorities will have to continue their quest to have the Penacho returned through more diplomatic means. It is an impressive item. Did it really once sit atop Moctezuma’s bonce? Who knows. It seems to me to be a good story, and good stories are often just that. Whether it crowned an Aztec leader or not though, Mexico do want it back. Should it be returned? It’s another of ‘those’ dilemmas. Ninety per cent or more of the item’s history is based outside of Mexico…



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