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22 Abandoned Mayan Statues in… St. Petersburg

Abandoned Mayan Statues in… St. Petersburg

Posted on February 15, 2007 by


In one of the regular inner yards of multi-stored buildings in St. Petersburg there is a whole collection of Middle-American Mayan statues standing under open air and not protected by anybody, left all by themselves.

The story of them appearing there starts in 19th century when Academy of St. Petersburg sent a group of explorers to Middle America. They visited through all of Yucatan, collected different things for St. Petersburg’s museums. By the way they noticed and bought a set of Mayan idols from Chichen Itza ruins. Upon the return of expedition smaller objects were placed into museums but nobody has found a good place for those Mayan statues and they were left all by themselves in the back yard, dug into ground.

A few years passed and Soviet Revolution happened, all the museums were messed up, all the buildings were nationalized by Soviets and were used for a totally different purpose then before. In many churches warehouses were founded as the result of total atheism of new Russian authorities, and many museum were turned into something else as a result of ignorance.

So hundred years passed and those 1500 year old Mayan deities stand, abandoned and not worshiped by anyone except accidental Russian teens searching for a place to have a beer outside in some public backyard.


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22 Responses to “Abandoned Mayan Statues in… St. Petersburg”

  1. Traveller says:

    This really is amazing. I would not be at all surprised to see the Government of Mexico, (Quentana Roo, Yucatan, Mexico), ask for these back.

    Part of the Patrimony kind of issue.

    Thanks for the interesting post.

    Best Wishes, Traveller

  2. Kylex says:

    Can’t believe that. It’s really stunning.
    I’ll appreciate if somebody could give me the adress of this yard.

  3. Shizo says:

    Surviving the revolution is now part of these statues’ history. They should be taken to a museum. As far as Mexican government, i don’t think they’ll miss a few little statues that were taken so many years ago by the explorers.

  4. thedevil says:

    @ Kylex

    No-you may not have the address. You’ll only steal those priceless artifacts.

    @ Shizo

    Mexican government couldn’t care because they have pyramids that still haven’t been found and countless of other artifacts like the one statue in Mexico City. 80ft long statue of a Aztec King.

  5. illlich says:

    I can’t believe some Russian “entreprenuer” hasn’t grabbed these and sold them on the foreign market to some collector, considering how much gets stolen from ancient graves now in central America and sold on the black market.

    Where are your precious gods NOW, foolish humans!

  6. Martín Pereyra says:

    Interesting indeed. However, as far as I know, these statues don’t look like Mayan artifacts. Mayan sculpture is a bit more realistic and three-dimensional, and those statues don’t seem to match with known Mayan iconography.

    Do you (or somebody else) know where can I find more information about this, like the name of the explorers or the exact date of the expedition?

    • Tim says:

      maybe Olmec, but there were a lot of mayans and they could be from anywhere. one of the greatest losses caused by their move was the lost information they could have given about where they were found.

    • lowell says:

      These are either Zapotec or Toltec or both. They’re not Mayan at all. I bet the Mexican Government would like them back. Perhaps the locals could find a better use for them rather than as urinals for drunk teens …

  7. Ben says:

    This story is wrong on a number of levels:

    They’re not Mayan, they’re from the San Agustin culture of Colombia.

    They’re not abandoned, they’re in the garden of the Kunstkamera Museum.

    They probably could be better cared for though.

  8. Anna from St.Pete says:

    Eeeexcuse me but this is actually a hoax. These pictures were taken not in “one of the regular inner yards of multi-stored buildings in St. Petersburg” but in the inner yard of Kunskammer, the famous Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in St.Petersburg. They really store some stone statues from their American collection in the museum’s inner yard.
    I wouldn’t mind having something like that in MY yard in St.Petersburg, though… :)

  9. Last says:

    Who cares.
    Now russians are busy with anti-americanism.

  10. anastasia says:

    what part of the city are they located . . . i want to see them when i go back there again.

  11. liza says:

    To see them, you can either go out the back door of the Kunstkammera (downstairs and past the coat-check), or walk around to the other side of the building (there is a gate).

  12. Pancho Pistolas says:

    This items are most definitely from none of the ethnic groups of Mexico.

    They very much seem to be from South America and there is similarity with the Inca iconography -though, not necesarily Inca.

  13. Oliver says:

    These are from the “San Agustin” Lost culture of the Colombian Southamerican Andes. I know the goverment of Colombia is trying to recover a lot of artifacts that were taken to the old war in the early century XX.

  14. Cigarettes says:

    I like Mayan culture. Where i can find this yard? On each street?

  15. Chem istj says:

    WTF!!
    They do not seem Maya sculptures. They are “San Agustin” sculptures from Colombia. Maybe they are replicas.

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  17. utro_boyarskogo says:

    It’s concrete copies, about 100 years old.

  18. Miguel M says:

    NO SON MAYAS. Son de una cultura pre-hispnica, llamada de “San Agustn” al sur de Colombia.
    Ah, no son rplicas.

  19. [...] Abandoned Mayan statues in Petersburg. Exactly what it says on the tin. I don’t know whether this is a hoax or not – it has [...]

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