the state of Guanajuato, Mexicohas an extraordinary wealth of mummies that stands out worldwide. This historical heritage is important because the corpses managed to preserve themselves naturally for many years, without any kind of bandage or embalming. However, in recent days, experts have expressed their concern about a traveling exhibition after signs of life were found on one of the mummies.
The mummies date from the 19th and 20th centuries and began to be exhibited in 1969 at the Mummies Museum. This exhibition is one of the reasons why Guanajuato has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1988Explain National Geography.
From the 26th to the 29th of March, Tianguis Turístico was held in Mexico City, a fair where the main companies and operators dedicated to the travel sector meet. Representatives from each state brought characteristic elements of their places to attract visitors. In the case of Guanajuato, authorities transferred six mummies. However, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the entity responsible for protecting historical heritage, denied having authorized this movement.
The controversy started when photographs that They showed the mummies in unfavorable conditions. “A picture is worth a thousand words: here are the consequences of moving Guanajuato’s ‘traveling mummies’ without proper care,” wrote one user on Twitter and accompanied the publication with a photograph. In another tweet, he denounced that the mummies had fungi and insects.
Three days after these statements, the members of the INAH issued a statement in which they denied the transfer of the mummies: “Regarding the exhibition of the mummified bodies at the 47 Tianguis Turístico 2023, INAH is unaware of the purpose of its presence, as well as the project related to the movement and shows at this event. This institution at no time received a request for authorization or advice for movement and transfer, as well as the environmental conditions during its stay on the fairgrounds.
Experts detailed that at least one of the mummies showed signs of proliferation of possible fungal or fungal colonies. They called it “worrying”. Furthermore, they said they were surprised that were not required to carry out an assessment beforehand its transfer to the capital from Mexico.
The officials pointed out that it was even more worrying that the mummies were exposed without the necessary biosecurity conditions. The appearance of fungi must be analyzed to find out if it represents “a risk both for heritage organizations, as well as for those who manage them and for those who visit them”.
INAH members disclaim any damage caused to the exhibition during its transfer, handling and exhibition. They also urged the authorities of that state to “address based on current regulations in this regard.”
For his part, Alejandro Navarro, municipal president of Guanajuato, assured in a statement that the exhibition of mummies was carried out “under strict transfer and conservation protocols, complying with the criteria established by organizations and associations that work to protect the built heritage”. . The official made the statement during the Tianguis Turístico event. However, he did not comment after being notified by the INAH.