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Miguel Hidalgo Relics Ready to be Exhibited
Fragment of the document that accompanies the silver medal. Photo: Mauricio Marat/INAH.

MEXICO CITY.- Specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) finished restoration of 2 objects most likely to have been property of Miguel Hidalgo: a silver engraved medal dated in 1803, and a golden silver locket.

Both relics were exhibited for the last time during the Centennial of the Independence celebrations, and are part of the National Museum of History (MNH) heap.

Salvador Rueda Smithers, director of the museum, mentioned that the small silver medal has an image of Virgin of Guadalupe engraved and in the back a legend in Latin that reads “She did nothing equal in any other nation.”

Donated in 1915 by Guadalupe Hidalgo y Costilla, granddaughter of the leader, who inherited it, the medal was exposed in 1910 and in 1915 it became part of MNH heap with other of his personal items.

Veronica Kuhliger, restorer at MNH in charge of the intervention, informed that the medal presented severe oxidation in certain points, so it had to be cleaned under the microscope. Afterwards, a conservation treatment was applied to stabilize it and delay natural development of oxide.

The document that accompanies it was typed, and to present only notarial seals from 1912 and 1913 can be distinguished, as well as the signature of a notary named Rojas Martinez, who certified the granddaughter of Hidalgo had the possession of the relic in April 13th 1915.

The locket is made out of silver and the date of its manufacture will be determined by analyses. If it was property of Hidalgo must be established according to historical sources. It was donated to the National Museum of History in 1910 to be exhibited also at Centennial celebrations.

Rueda Smithers commented that one of the reasons that suggests the locket was part of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla are images painted, on the front our Lady of Sorrows, and on the back, the Holy Face with a thorn on his forehead, image with which Hidalgo identified, according to Jose Maria de Cos, theologian friend of his.

Kuhliger mentioned that the conservation state is optimal, so the locket was superficially cleaned and antioxidant protection applied. She commented that the inventory number had excessive dimensions so it was removed and located in a more discreet place.

In the decade after Hidalgo died, and until consummation of Independence in 1821, most of his personal belongings were lost or hidden, so the task of reuniting them has been huge, concluded the MNH director.

National Institute of Anthropology and History | Miguel Hidalgo | centennial | Mexico City | National Museum of History |

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