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Ex Convents in Morelos will be Part of a Conservation Project

MEXICO CITY.- Historical atriums of eleven 16th century ex convents part of Ruta del Volcan (Volcano Route), declared World Heritage by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1994, will be intervened as part of a conservation project in Morelos state, with a 10 million MXP.

Intervention of these Colonial buildings need the help of 600 eventual workers, whose positions are created thanks to Temporary Employment Program (PET) in Morelos state, promoted by National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and the federal Secretariat of Social Development (SEDESOL).

Anthropologist Eduardo Lopez Calzada, director of Morelos INAH Center, informed that preservation project for atriums of ex convents located at the foot of Popocatepetl will allow recovering their historical value. “These 16th century buildings were constructed by 3 different religious orders (Dominicans, Franciscans and Augustinians), located in a small geographical space, strategic for Evangelization purposes”.

Intervention of atriums is the main task, with the aim of dignifying and recovering them, according to international conventions signed by Mexico in 1994, since 14 convent conjuncts (11 in Morelos and 3 in Puebla), are part of the World Heritage List.

Teresita Loera Cabeza de Vaca, INAH restorer, mentioned the project looks forward to recover processional corridors, as well as giving maintenance to crosses and Posa chapels.

Informative cards will be placed to explain activities realized in the past in the different atrium’s spaces, and liturgical process conducted by each of the religious orders.

“Importance of this project lies on the fact that Evangelization in Mexico took place in the atriums and not inside the convents. In these open spaces, friars gathered people according to gender and age to instruct them Catechesis”, remarked the restorer.

PET implementation in Morelos began at Cuernavaca Cathedral in June 2009, with conservation work conducted and an investment of 400,000 MXP.

Fernando Duarte Soriano, coordinator of the project, mentioned 64 temporary workers will intervene the Cathedral during 3 months, and remarked nearly the same number of posts will be open at each ex convent. He announced that on each atrium traditional material and techniques such as lime and inorganic pigments will be used.

Program includes leveling, consolidation, wall plastering, fumigation, weeding and cleaning Posa chapels’ facades, among other tasks, declared Duarte Soriano.

Ex convents benefited by the program are: Augustinian buildings San Guillermo Totolapan, San Mateo Atlatlahucan, San Juan Bautista Tlayacapan, Santiago Apostol Ocuituco, Inmaculada Concepcion Zacualpan and San Juan Bautista Yecapixtla.

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