The 220 archaeological jewels part of the exhibition Moctezuma II. Time and Destiny of a Ruler, the first one about a Prehispanic ruler, have been visited by more than 90,000 persons during a month and a half, since its inauguration in June 17th 2010.
The regular number of Templo Mayor Museum visits in a month, 50,000, has increased 30 per cent since this exhibition opened. 79,728 nationals and 11,187 foreigners have visited the display of archaeological objects among which Tlaltecuhtli monolith outstands.
The museographic display allows appreciating a key moment in the life of the Mexica ruler who faced a world completely different than his: the military struggle between Spanish conquerors and their indigenous allies against Mexicas, declared Dr. Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, emeritus professor of the National Institute of Anthropology and History
(INAH) and curator of the exhibition.
He pointed out that one of the emblematic pieces is Teocalli de la Guerra Sagrada (Teocalli of the Sacred Warfare), sculpture carved in volcanic stone that has engraved on its main side one of the few images of Moctezuma II, and on the opposite, the only representation of the eagle standing on a cactus, symbol of the foundation of Tenochtitlan.
This image became an emblem for resistance against European invaders that lasted through the Colonial period and until our days, being one of our main national symbols.
Matos mentioned that Insurgents wanted to vindicate Prehispanic Mexico that Spain had destroyed, and built an image of a great ancient nation; now we know that Mexica people had many enemies, such as Tarascos and Tlaxcaltecas; and that there was no unity in Mesoamerica, so when Cortes arrived some indigenous groups supported him.
Regarding the last tlatoani and his polemic death, Eduardo Matos pointed out that little is known about him and as always happens with magnicides, there are several versions. Regarding Moctezumas death, there are 2 versions: the Spanish one, narrated by Bernal Diaz del Castillo, indicates that his own people gave him death.
Moctezuma Codex, at display, shows Spanish conquerors killing him; as academic, I think this is what happened, because the tlatoani was useless for them at that moment.
The sculpture that attracts more visitors is the colossal representation of an earth deity, Tlaltecuhtli. This monument is presented for the first time with some of its offerings, concluded Matos Moctezuma.
Moctezuma II. Tiempo y destino de un gobernante is open until January 2010 in Templo Mayor Museum, (Seminario 8, Historical Center, Mexico City), Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 to 17:00 hours. The admission fee is 51 MXP.