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Maguey Fields as Cultural Good, to be Proposed at UNESCO
Maguey fields at Zempoala municipality in Hidalgo will be valued by specialists to determine if they can be included as cultural good in Mexican Indicative List, with possibilities of being acknowledged later as world heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Photo: INAH/ M. Marat.

MEXICO CITY.- Maguey fields at Zempoala municipality in Hidalgo, as well as those at Estado de Mexico, Nopaltepec, Axapusco and Otumba, will be valued by specialists to determine if they can be included as cultural good in Mexican Indicative List, with possibilities of being acknowledged later as world heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Olga Orive Bellinger, president of the Mexican Committee for the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), mentioned that this proposal would be inserted in the candidature of the Historical Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque, part of the national indicative list for some years.

This list is the first prior-planning instrument for cultural goods susceptible of being part of the world catalog; it contributes generating measures to conserve heritage.

At the conference offered to commemorate the International Day for Monuments and Sites, in April 18th, which theme in 2010 is “The Heritage of Agriculture”, architect Orive declared that the suggested maguey farming areas correspond to the route that the hydraulic structure built between 1543 and 1560 follows.

The ICOMOS officer in Mexico recalled that our country has an antecedent regarding the promotion of this kind of cultural goods: Agave landscape and ancient industrial facilities of Tequila, inscribed in the UNESCO list in 2006. ICOMOS is one of the most important organizations that INAH consults regarding architectural and archaeological conservation.

At the act that took place at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) School of Restoration, Conservation and Museography, ENCRyM, Dr. Salvador Diaz-Berrio Fernandez, member of ICOMOS who has coordinated integration of 25 Mexican sites files, 21 of them already inscribed, recalled that in 1994 the maguey farming was visited at Zempoala, Hidalgo.

Nearly 20 former pulque haciendas are distributed in the nearby zone to the Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque, as well as churches, ex convents and an extinct volcano, Tecajete. This conjunct of goods is part of the Cultural Landscape proposal, in accordance to UNESCO World Heritage Convention criteria.

The INAH architect and academic remarked that valuation of maguey as cultural good is important considering its origin as well as the industrial development it generated in 19th and 20th centuries, being a cultivation that must be reactivated.

“In this sense, the maguey fields proposal is in accordance to the spirit of the World Heritage Convention, being a legacy that goes back to Prehispanic time and to present is at risk”, concluded Diaz-Berrio.

Mexico | UNESCO | Olga Orive Bellinger | Maguey Fields |

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