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New benches at ancient archaeological site anger Izamal residents

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Modern slab benches detract from an ancient ruin at Izamal, neighbors say. Photo: Courtesy

Modern-looking benches installed at the site of ancient Mayan ruins are out of place, some Izamal residents say.

The Kinich Kakmó archaeological zone got the new concrete-slab benches as part of a 54-million-peso Urban Improvement Program from the Ministry of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development. They were apparently approved by INAH, the federal agency charged with safeguarding Mexico’s heritage.

But residents say the new benches look like gravestones and detract from the history of Kinich Kakmó, which dates to 400 AD.

Diario de Yucatán reported that the community’s complaint has mainly to do with how modern they look. The Pueblo Magico has been careful to maintain its historic charm.

And the same agency that approved the slabs would have been less lenient on a homeowner wishing to make a renovation, said one critic.

“Ah, but just move a door in your house and INAH drops in on you,” said Filiberto Gómez, a city resident. “Of course, as the federal government does the work, nothing happens there.”

The benches have the same design as those appearing elsewhere in the city’s public spaces.

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