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Remains of Mexican Independence Heroes Underwent Restoration
INAH specialists made several studies of the osseous remains. Photo: DAF INAH.

MEXICO CITY.- Osseous remains of 14 Insurgent heroes that rest in the Independence Column in Mexico City underwent, for the first time in history, a meticulous process of restoration and preservation conducted by specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

Alfonso de Maria y Campos, INAH general director, informed so, and specified that although the rests of national heroes received homage in 1823, 1895 and 1925, this is the first time studies and conservation processes have been conducted. The relics that “symbolize the death of thousands of Mexicans” will be preserved many years for the future generations.

During the press conference presided by the ministry of Public Education, Alonso Lujambio, where details of the homage and the route that the solemn cortege will cover in August 15th 2010 were announced, the INAH officer mentioned that deterioration of the remains was advancing so intervention was urgent. Analyses conducted at the Institute determined that conservation state of the rests and urns was good.

The remains of 14 heroes were identified: Ignacio Allende, Juan Aldama, Mariano Jimenez and Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla integrate the group of strugglers killed in the first stage of the battle, and whose skulls were exhibited from 1810 to 1821 at the 4 corners of Alhondiga de Granaditas, in Guanajuato City.

Mariano Matamoros, Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon, Victor Rosales, Pedro Moreno and Xavier Mina died during the war. The last group is integrated by Vicente Guerrero, Leona Vicario, Guadalupe Victoria, Andres Quintana Roo and Nicolas Bravo, all of them dead after the Independence ended.

In May 30th 2010 the urns that contain the heroes relics were moved from the Independence Column to INAH Conservation Laboratories located at the National Museum of History “Castillo de Chapultepec”, after a solemn ceremony headed by President Calderon.

Before being deposited at the Independence Column, the osseous rests of the heroes were dispersed and climate affected them. Both recipients and remains presented deterioration so an integral process of restoration could not be postponed.

Each urn underwent X-rays to verify its contents, define the position of bones and the quantity of remains and associated objects. Then, urns were opened and the remains analyzed by experts in physical anthropology to determine their physical state.

Conservation processes were applied to the rests with the aim of stopping pulverization of the internal structure of bones, parting from a process of re-mineralization among other procedures.

Urns were moved from Castillo de Chapultepec to Palacio Nacional, in Zocalo in Sunday August 15th under rigorous military protocol and under supervision of INAH specialists. After receiving homage from Mexican people, they will return to the Independence Column.

Mexican Independence Heroes | National Institute of Anthropology and History | Mexico | Alfonso de Maria y Campos | Mariano Matamoros | Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon |

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