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The Maya Codex is the oldest book in the Americas. Photo: Twitter INAH
The Maya Codex is the oldest book in the Americas. Photo: Twitter INAH

Codice Maya, at J Paul Getty Museum in Los Ángeles

It will house the oldest book in the Americas, thousands of years old, until January 15th.

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It is key to understanding the Mesoamerican civilization's interpretation of the cosmos. 

The oldest book in the Americas emphasizes the sophisticated calendrical content and the way the Maya interpreted the cosmos, according to CNN en Español. 

The codex is on special loan from the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico City (INAH), it has only been exhibited on a few occasions: once in 1971 at the Grolier Club in New York, during an exhibition called 'The Maya Scribe and His World', and twice at the National Museum of Anthropology and History in Mexico City.

According to INAH, this exhibition "represents the temporary return of that codex to U.S. soil."

"We are delighted to be able to exhibit this important work in the United States for the first time after 50 years," Andrew Turner, curator of the exhibition, told the Los Angeles Times.

Getty Research Institute director Mary Miller said that as part of the Pacific Standard Time initiative, Art x Science x LA, the exhibition "focuses on the intellectual and artistic achievements of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas to challenge and decentralize the idea that science and mathematics were the exclusive domain of European cultures.

Due to its complicated history, international specialists managed to authenticate the book only in 2018. For decades, it was considered a forgery, due in part to its uniqueness and the mysterious circumstances under which it appeared in a private collection in Mexico in the mid-1960s, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

The Codex Maya of Mexico will be on view from October 19th, 2022 to January 15th, 2023 at the Getty Center Museum Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm and on Saturdays until 8:00 pm.

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