MEXICO CITY -- Clients headed for Mexico's capital city can take in
a cultural exhibition touted as the most extensive collection of
Mayan artifacts ever presented in one show.
The exhibition, called "Los Mayas," opened last month at Antiguo
Colegio de San Ildefonso, a cultural institution in the city's
historic center. Scheduled to run through Dec. 31, the exhibition
is expected to attract more than 500,000 visitors.
On display are 540 restored artifacts of the Mayan civilization,
which flourished for more than 2,000 years until the Spanish
Conquest of the 16th century.
The Mayan civilization inhabited Mexico and several Central
American countries, including Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and
Honduras. The entire region is home to hundreds of Mayan ruins. In
Mexico, the sites mainly are concentrated in the five states of
Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Yucatan, with major
Mayan cities including Chichen-Itza, Coba, Kabah, Palenque, Tulum
The "Los Mayas" exhibition features glyphs, stelae, ceremonial
altars, religious objects, frescoes and an enigmatic relief taken
from a temple in Copan, a Mayan site in Honduras.
Mayan cities in Mexico are well represented, including a
sculpted head of Pakal, king of Palenque, and a reconstruction of
frescoes found in Bonampak. Other elements of the Los Mayas display
include religious objects, jade masks, alabaster heads, obsidian
sculptures, conch jewelry, eating utensils, alabaster bowls, plates
and tiny toy sculptures. Pieces of the Los Mayas exhibition were
obtained from museums and private collections.
The exhibition's host venue, the Antiguo Colegio de San
Ildefonso, is located across from the archaeological site of Templo
Mayor, the hub of the ancient Aztec civilization. Antiguo Colegio
de San Ildefonso is a historic building founded as a Jesuit college
in 1588. The building was restored in 1992, and has since staged a
number of cultural and art exhibits that have drawn more than 3.5
The "Los Mayas" exhibition is open Sunday through Friday from 10
a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Admission is $2.50, and children under 12 are admitted free. The
museum offers free admission for the "Los Mayas" exhibition every
Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso