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A facelift, fresh outlook for Palacio Cantón

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The mansard roof of the Palacio Cantón receives some tender loving care. Photo: Sipse
The mansard roof of the Palacio Cantón receives some tender loving care. Photo: Sipse

Mérida, Yucatán — The beautiful Palacio Cantón, home of the Regional Museum of Anthropology, is celebrating its 55th anniversary with a facelift.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) has cooperated with restorations of the attic, roofs and terraces, which are expected to be completed in February.

Palacio Cantón. Photo: Flickr
Palacio Cantón. Photo: Flickr

The museum is also promising to bring more dynamic programming to the city.

One of the great challenges facing museums today is to demystify everything and no longer be seen as “boxes of old stuff,” said museum director Giovana Jaspersen García, who admits that it is losing the attention of visitors age 12-55.

Palacio Cantón in Merida. Photo: Conaculta
Palacio Cantón in Merida. Photo: Conaculta

There is a bit of a disconnect between the architecture of the building and the culture the museum explores. While its subject is ancient Mayan culture, the museum’s trappings are pure Porfiriato. Built with materials brought from France, Italy and Germany, and designed by Enrico Deserti with sculptures by Michele Giacomino materials, the Beaux-Arts-style building stands out among scores of beautiful European mansions on the Paseo de Montejo.

Palacio Cantón in Merida. Photo: Flickr
Palacio Cantón in Merida. Photo: Flickr

The building was originally the home of General Francisco Canton Rosado, a former state governor, from 1911, when the palace was built, until his death in 1917.

The museum was remodeled in 2012 when it re-opened its doors with new photography exhibitions, faces from the past of the Mayan and Mayan embroidered clothing.

Giovana Jaspersen asserted that visitors don’t come just to see an exhibition of objects, but also for cultural and academic programs with lectures, concerts and activities to complement the exhibit.

Source: Notimex, Sipse

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