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Pre-Columbian American art collection
Museo de América comprises the finest collection of pre- Columbian American art and artefacts in Europe, a combination of articles brought back during the Conquest and centuries of Spanish rule over Central and South America, plus later acquisitions donated by Latin American governments.
The collection includes near-matchless treasures: there is the Madrid Codex, one of only four surviving Mayan illustrated glyph manuscripts in the world; the Tudela Codex and illustrated manuscripts from central Mexico, which depict the Spanish Conquest; superb carvings from the Mayan city of Palenque, sent back to Charles III by the first ever modern survey expedition to a pre-Hispanic American ruin in 1787; and the Gold of the Quimbayas, a series of exquisite gold figures from the Quimbaya culture of Colombia, which were presentedto Spain by the Colombian government.
All the main pre-Columbian cultures are represented – further highlights include Aztec obsidian masks from Mexico, Inca stone sculptures and funeral offerings from Peru, and finely modeled, comical and sometimes highly sexual figurines from the Chibcha culture of Colombia. There are also exhibits from the Spanish colonial period, and many other superb antiquities for visitors to enjoy. The collection is arranged not by countries and cultures, but thematically. This is a collection no one interested in Spanish history should ever miss.