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Teotihuacan Mural Paintings Recover Splendor
Nural painting in Tetitla. Las Águilas. Photo: DMC.INAH. M MARAT.
MEXICO CITY.- Several Prehispanic mural paintings at Tetitla Palace, in Teotihuacan Archaeological Zone are fully restored after 2 years of work conducted by specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

Among the paintings created between 600 and 700 AD, outstand Las Aguilas (The Eagles), Diosas verdes (Green Goddesses), Caballero Jaguar,(Jaguar Warrior), Jaguares anaranjados (Orange Jaguars), Manos (Hands), Aves con conchas (Birds with Shells) and Los Buzos (The Divers).

Jaime Cama Villafranca, expert from the National School of Conservation, Restoration and Museography (ENCRyM) directed the intervention. He informed that work concentrated in 8 of the 16 paintings, those that presented more damage due to sun, wind, dust, humidity and time.

“Intervention began in September 2007, conducting scientific research and taking pigment samples to be analyzed with ultraviolet technology, which allows knowing mineral composition. Graphic registers made after the discovery, 70 years ago, were studied as well”.

Recovery of the black pigment of Las Aguilas mural was achieved, which was no longer perceived by the naked eye. “The mural presented eagle’s heads painted in red, floating on a white space”.

“After analyzing it, we found rests of black lines that united the heads. We restored the black feathers described in archaeological reports of the 1940’s decade”.

At the Green Goddesses mural, blue pigment was recovered. “Female characters richly adorned seem to throw aquatic elements with their hands”.

Specialists think Tetitla was a neighborhood inhabited by a wealthy population sector, due to the richness of pictorial decorations. The mural Jaguares Anaranjados, where 8 felines carrying headdresses walk towards the door of a room, outstands.

Cama Villafranca explained that main problems presented were erosion of pictorial layers and salinization provoked by humidity. Paintings were cleaned and color was restituted. Cement finishing was retired and substituted with lime.

Restorer Ingrid Jimenez informed that initially, only mural painting would undergo restoration, but other conservation problems were detected at the building, such as floor erosion and leak on roofs that protect it, which were attended as well.

“Original floors were consolidated, and protections were placed on corridors. Old roofs were substituted and translucent sheets were placed over the mural area to provide natural light while protecting it from solar harm”, she concluded.

National Institute of Anthropology and History | Jaime Cama Villafranca | Prehispanic Mural Paintings |


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