They say that school actually ruins a lot of things for us, for example those of us who studied Mexican history year after year in elementary school may have a consequential repulsion to the name Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez. The same happens with this museum, a favorite place of teachers, who managed to make a trip to see the marvelous collection seem like a punishment.
Many of us haven’t been back since we were 10 years old, but it’s worth another chance. If you do, you’ll see the Toltec culture with new eyes now and better understand the Mexica and probably will have a new-found passion for the Maya. And if none of that is the case, at least the architecture will impress you. It’s impossible to see the entire museum in one day, but coming back and seeing the Coatlicue with adult eyes will change your perception of one of Mexico’s most important museums.
After 54 years, it was necessary to restore its two great murals: “The World of the Maya” (Leonora Carrington) and the “Map of Meso-America” (Ernesto Vázquez y Luis Covarrubias). The restoration was completed under the direction of restorer Gilda Salgado and the museum’s conservation lab, who over a period of two months carried out the detailed salvage, with a surface cleaning using a vacuum and brushes; as well as the elimination of residues from previous restoration attempts.
The magic world of the Maya is a work that evokes the myths and legends of the tzotziles and tzeltales cosmology, with whom Carrington had direct experience in the mountains of Chiapas. It’s divided into three levels: the Underworld, the Earth and Heaven. The mural is more than four meters high and was carried out by the painter in 1963, on contract from the Mexican government, in order to adorn the wall of the Mayan room.
The Map of Meso-America- exhibited in the Teotihuacan room – illustrates all the pre-hispanic cultures that existed in the country before the Spanish arrived.