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National Institute of Anthropology and History Delivers Fully-Restored Rosete Aranda Marionettes to INBA
Each puppet underwent cleaning and adhesive elimination, and their clothes were restored; the intervention lasted 7 months. Photo: Mauricio Marat/INAH.

MEXICO CITY.- More than 50 years ago, the 317 puppets of the Rosete Aranda Company were put away, some of them with their members apart. They “returned to life” thanks to the intervention of specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

Each puppet underwent cleaning and adhesive elimination, and their clothes were restored; the intervention lasted 7 months and in June 24th 2009 the collection returned to the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA).

Alfonso de Maria y Campos, INAH general director, commented at the delivery ceremony that restoration of puppets represents the collaboration between both Institutes. Other example of it is the exhibition “Matter and Sense. Mexican Art under the gaze of Octavio Paz” presented until August 2009 in the National Museum of Art.

De Maria remarked the work coordinated by Arturo Montero Alarcon, dean at National School of Conservation, Restoration and Museography (ENCRyM), who had intervened before part of the Rosete Aranda collection.

Teresa Vicencio, INBA general director, mentioned this delivery represents a compromise towards puppet tradition in Mexico, which had a peak, decades ago, due to INBA and Public Education Ministry (SEP) intention to rescue didactic potential of marionettes.

She announced that in August 2009 INBA will present a complete investigation regarding Rosete Aranda and Carlos V. Espinal puppet collections, distributed along the country, conducted by National Center of Theatrical Information, Research and Documentation (CITRU) based on Francisca Miranda study.

Marisa Gimenez Cacho, director of INBA Children and Youth Theater Program, announced that this digital catalogue includes photographs, screenplays and other company’s documents.

Marionettes’ value consists in the testimony they represent of puppet tradition in Mexico, being the oldest ones 150 years old. The lot restored was found in archive boxes and rescued by INBA.

Almost a hundred puppets are soldiers with uniforms from Reforma and Revolution ages; there is one that represents Porfirio Diaz. Restoring the whole lot implied a 600 million pesos inversion, provided by INBA and INAH.

The restorers’ team was formed by Veronica Fernandez Espinosa, Claudia Malvaez, Andrea Figueroa, Lourdes Gonzalez Jimenez y Cecilia Guerrero, among other experts that collaborated in different stages of the process.

Daily work carried out by puppeteers all over Mexican Republic is observed in the deterioration state; some used to fix them up quickly, such as nailing loosen members to clothes.

Liliana Giorguli, ENCRyM director, recalled that thanks to this work, it was determined that the lot corresponds to 2 different periods, and it includes Rosete Aranda and Espinal puppets, of different manufacture quality. She declared that the main restoration objective was to return the movement of members.

National Institute of Anthropology and History | Rosete Aranda Company | INBA | Carlos V. Espinal | National Center of Theatrical Information | Research and Documentation |

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