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Friday, January 28, 2022

Shows resume at Plaza Grande sites

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Videomapping Mérida
Videomapping presentations will resume at the Cathedral and Casa Montejo in Mérida. Photo: AyuntaMérida

Those vivid and artistic high-definition video projections cast on the facades of the Cathedral and Casa de Montejo will resume, weeks after the National Institute of Anthropology and History shut them down.

Videomapping, which is produced on landmark buildings all over the world, will begin 8 p.m. Saturday, April 2, at the Casa de Montejo and on April 9 at both the Casa de Montejo, again at 8, and then an hour later at the Cathedral. Both buildings face the Plaza Grande and are among the most priceless treasures of Mérida’s heritage.

The announcement was made by the director of the interior, Armando Villarreal Guerra, after talks between city tourist officials and INAH, which is known for tying up projects with red tape. Local officials were upset that tourists would be disappointed after the shows were promised them.

INAH’s mission is to protect the country’s historic structures, and demanded the proper paperwork and evidence that the spectaculars were not damaging either building, both of which date to the 1500s.

Videomapping Mérida, and everywhere

The high-definition images appear to be three-dimensional, wrapping around the contours of its structure, depicting animation and artwork that tells the story of the city’s history and heritage. The programs are designed by a local company, Secosur Audio Video Y Produccion, headed by Luis Ramirez.

The city council allocated a budget of 3 million pesos a year for production. The shows are, of course, free to the public.

Similar shows have been projected onto buildings ranging from the ancient pyramid at Chichén Itzá to the modern Museo del Mundo Maya in the north of the city.

The ability to turn buildings into a canvas is relatively new — at least at this level. A few years ago video projection mapping was a fledgling art form, with a handful of noteworthy examples. Now this technology has spread all over the world, heralding anything from a product launch, a music concert or — in this case — the celebration of a city’s rich heritage.

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