Home LifestyleArt and Culture Is Merida’s Macay Museum at risk of disappearing?

Is Merida’s Macay Museum at risk of disappearing?

by Yucatan Times
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The group “Macay para Macay” publicly denounced the reduction of workspaces at the Ateneo de Yucatán Museum of Contemporary Art (Macay) in a public letter to which until yesterday half a thousand people had expressed their support.

The Ateneo Peninsular, headquarters of Macay since its founding (on April 29, 1994), is undergoing rehabilitation work by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), as part of a new project that the federal government announced for that space and which, among other things, includes the exhibition of relics found in the construction works of the Tren Maya.

The director of the museum, Rafael Pérez y Pérez, stated that, although in principle they were informed that only the annexes of the Ateneo Peninsular that were used as businesses would be occupied and that the other areas would continue to belong to the museum, INAH personnel have been taking over rooms of educational activities, temporary exhibitions and the Expoforo, which they want to convert into a garden.

In the statement from “Macay para Macay” spread on social networks, it is indicated that “the artistic community and citizens in general are concerned about the at-risk situation in which the Ateneo de Yucatán Museum of Contemporary Art, Macay, finds itself.”

This, it is added, “is the only museum dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of modern and contemporary, local, national and international art throughout the Yucatan Peninsula and the southeast of the Mexican Republic.”

“It hosts conferences, colloquiums and participates in the higher level of education of the Yucunet project (in which the Autonomous University of Yucatán, the National University of Mexico, the University of Havana, the Nova University of Lisbon, the University of Porto, the Universidad Catholic of Portuguesa, University of Lisbon, among several others).

“With 17 exhibition rooms and an expoforum for monumental sculpture and various activities, the museum has accomplished valuable work for art in Mexico. The venue displays the permanent exhibitions of the painters Fernando García Ponce, Fernando Castro Pacheco and Gabriel Ramírez. The building has been on loan for 99 years, through the signing of the agreement signed in 1993 between the State government and the Macay Cultural Foundation, and has remained open to the public since 1994, with a history of activities of nearly eight hundred fifty national and international, collective and temporary exhibitions. The agreement for said loan did not include the ground floor premises rented to commercial businesses.”

One of the Macay exhibition rooms in Mérida, before it closed its doors due to the remodeling of the building that houses that museum.

“In 2022, the INAH began the rescue of these premises to restore them, as well as the façade, to install the Exhibition Hall of the archaeological rescues of the Tren Maya, the Museum of History of the Pueblo Maya and the Single Window to attend to the procedures of the Historical Monuments Zone of Mérida. With the statement of the restoration of the building, the INAH continued to advance the work beyond what was initially indicated towards the central garden and the first and second floors.

“In the year 2023, these advances in the restoration of the said federal project required a clarification to which the INAH, without considering the bailment contract and violating what was agreed in said document, warned the Macay Foundation that it would take a certain number of rooms on the upper and lower floors, the central garden and the expo forum, leaving Macay only three rooms for its exhibition activity. In July 2023, in the program known as ‘La mañanera’ and before the President, the INAH showed a video in which it announced the aforementioned project, and in the historical narrative of the building it never mentions the existence of Macay. Living existence since the museum had been in outstanding activity for 29 years at that time.” “These events have aroused discontent and disgust among the artistic community and citizens in general, asking why the INAH tries to leave impoverished an institution that already exists and plays a fundamental role in culture and art in a successful and accomplished manner, instead “to only focus on the care and restoration of the property, strengthening the vocation of the Museum of Contemporary Art?”

TYT Newsroom

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