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Past and present in the museums of Chiapas – an alternative approach?

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The author narrates how Chiapas local museums in Mexico reflect the struggle of its people to preserve their natural and cultural wealth. Like a good story-teller she describes their efforts to combine past and present to provide a wider vision of the world of Chiapas – how they took up the challenge to transcend time and space and add to their archaelogical magnificence the appreciation of the social values and creativity of their living indigenous peoples. These initiatives recognized the usages and customs of their everyday life. But much still remains to be done, and she calls for the adoption of a more critical attitude and greater commitment. While community museums are being created and their management gradually being taken over by the different local communities, Chiapas calls out to the world and warns that the breathtaking changes imposed by modern societies mean abrupt changes for all forms of expression of life. Luisa Fernanda Rico Mansard holds a Ph.D. in History and specializes in museum work. An academic in the Technical Department of Museography and Restoration of ENP, UNAM, she has been secretary of ICOM-Mexico and member of ICMAH for many years. This article is based on personal visits to each museum, interviews with their directors, and the information obtained through the Historía de los Museos de México programme which she is promoting.

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0033.00322

Affiliations: Technical Department of Museography and Restoration of ENP, UNAM, Mexico

Publication date: July 1, 2001

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