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Thursday, December 8, 2022

New signs of life for Mérida’s MACAY contemporary art museum

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
The MACAY is in the very heart of Mérida’s Centro Histórico and is accessible through the Pasaje de la Revolución, a corridor adjacent to the San Ildefonso Cathedral. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Yucatán’s contemporary art museum, the MACAY, closed its doors on July 28, 2021.

The decision to stage the museum’s closure comes after Yucatán’s state government failed to meet its own deadline for making funds available to the institution.

But now it would appear the MACAY has quietly reopened, though in a somewhat diminished capacity, now operating only two days a week and with reduced hours. 

The museum is now open to the public once again, but only on Saturdays and Mondays from 10 am to 2 pm. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

“The state signed a commitment to fund the MACAY back in 1993, but the government is no longer keeping up their end, so we are left with little choice,” said the MACAY’s director, Rafel Pérez.

Earlier: This incredible exhibit may be Casa de Montejo’s final bow

It is unclear where the MACAY is currently drawing its funding, but the involvement of private benefactors seems likely.

Critics have pointed out the irony of cutting back funding for the arts when plans for large and expensive infrastructure projects, such as Mérida’s recently announced new airport, are widely seen as unnecessary.

The museum’s Facebook page remains active and continues to post images of its exhibits and encourages visitors. 

Related: Chagall exhibit opens at the Olimpo

“Things have not been good between the museum’s board and the governor for a while now. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens,” said an inside source who preferred their identity to remain anonymous. 

The MACAY faces the Plaza Grande, Mérida’s main square, and is contained in a 16th-century palace. Since it first opened its doors in the early 1990s, admission to the MACAY has been free. 

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