San Francisco's Mexican Museum clears up report about fake artifacts

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The Mexican Museum in San Francisco is setting the record straight after a report revealed the vast majority of pieces at the museum may not be the real deal. (KGO-TV)

The Mexican Museum in San Francisco is setting the record straight after a report revealed the vast majority of pieces at the museum may not be the real deal.

We're talking about the largest Mexican museum in the U.S. and the first institution in San Francisco to be affiliated with the Smithsonian.

It's a respected museum, to be sure. That's why it came as a shock when an independent assessment found that only 83 out of 2,000 artifacts in the pre-Hispanic collection could be authenticated.

On Thursday, museum officials held a news conference to clear up what they call a misunderstanding that many pieces may be fake.

"What was misinterpreted was the fact that all the other pieces were not authentic is absolutely incorrect," said Mexican Museum Chairman Andrew Kluger. "It just has to go through a process."

Museum officials say the challenge stems from their transition from a community museum to a national museum with higher standards demanded by the Smithsonian for its partners.

They say more analysis will be done to "date" the artifacts and more will likely be authenticated and go on permanent exhibit.

Having enough pieces to display is critical because the museum is stocking up for its new home that's being built right now at the Yerba Buena Center.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke at the dedication last summer.

The new Mexican Museum is an $86 million project. Fundraising continues and its target opening date is in 2019.

Related Topics:
newsmuseumsmuseum exhibitfraudartsmithsonianu.s. & worldmexicoSan Francisco
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