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Iconic Palace murals restored

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The History Room in the governor's palace building is decorated with murals by Yucatecan artist Fernando Castro Pacheco. His work also appears in the courtyard. Photo: Wikipedia
The History Room in the governor’s palace building is decorated with murals by Yucatecan artist Fernando Castro Pacheco. His work also appears in the courtyard. Photo: Digital Photograph Review

Mérida, Yucatán — Fernando Castro Pacheco’s 27 murals throughout the Governor’s Palace look better than they have in years after a restoration project that began in 2013.

Among the works that were repaired by specialists from the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA) are “The Torture of Jacinto Canek,” “Triumph of the Republic,” “The Sisal,” “Sale of Indians” and “War Caste.”

Before this project, the most recent restoration work was carried out in 2002 after Hurricane Isidore. The work was overseen by Castro Pacheco himself, who died around the time the last round of repairs was started.

The mural painter, considered one of the most influential and representative artists of Yucatán, show various stages of local history of the Caste War and slavery associated with the henequen trade.

The artist's murals in the Governor's Palace courtyard are more subject to the elements. Photo: Panoramio
The artist’s murals in the Governor’s Palace courtyard are more subject to the elements. Photo: Panoramio

The artist began painting the murals in 1971. Although not technically murals, since the works were not applied directly to the palace walls, the paintings are considered to be in the spirit of other great Mexican muralistas who worked in grand scale and for the edification of the general public, not private collectors.

Fernando Castro Pacheco was born on Jan. 26, 1918 in Mérida. At 15, Castro Pacheco began formal training at the Mérida School of Fine Arts. In 1943, he went to Mexico City and joined the Popular Graphics Workshop, which was formed in 1937 by the League of Revolutionary Writers and Craftsmen. With support from the INBA, in 1963 he visited Spain, France, England, Holland and Belgium, to study European painting techniques.

It was on his return to Mérida, in the early 1970s, when he began painting murals for the Governor’s Palace.

The Macay Museum, which also has a permanent exhibit of his work, offers this online memorial.

Source: Press Release

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