Expert Finishes Lifes Work Of Restoring Mayan Murals

Story By: Jonathan MaciasSub EditorJoseph GolderAgency: Newsflash

An expert restorer has completed her life’s work of bringing these stunning Mayan murals back to life and prevent them from being completely destroyed by the salty winds by the Caribbean Sea.

Local media report expert restorer Monica A. Lopez Portillo has completed her work of 30 years in the state of Quintana Roo in south-eastern Mexico where she led a multidisciplinary team of experts to preserve the area’s Mayan heritage.

According to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), Lopez Portillo has worked together with her team in 12 different archaeological sites over the course of her career carrying out projects to preserve 28 temples and 60 mural paintings.

Newsflash/Monica A.Lopez Portillo-CNPCCINAH

The pictures show some of the restored mural paintings which the INAH say are very valuable as the region is one of the most visited in Mexico by international tourists.

The paintings reportedly contain depictions of agriculture and fertility rituals as well as architectural ornaments.

Most of the pieces are believed to have been left by the Mayans who are thought to have built many of the temples found in Quintana Roo when they inhabited the region between 300 BC and the 1550 AD.

Newsflash/Monica A.Lopez Portillo-CNPCCINAH

Reports said that Lopez Portillo’s team have managed to stop the damaging effect of the conditions of the tropical weather in the area, including the salty breeze from the Caribbean Sea, rain, wind and sudden changes in temperature.

Elements such as the salt brought by the sea breeze or the humidity can gradually damage the painting causing fissures, cracks and detachments as well as stains and humidity that threaten to erase the paintings in the long term.

Lopez Portillo said to local media: “We have given priority to the control of deterioration and preservation with minimal direct intervention in the murals’ pain, stucco and stone elements.

Newsflash/Monica A.Lopez Portillo-CNPCCINAH

“We have incorporated several sites in the same conservation project, which carries out periodic maintenance and conservation activities”

She added: “We established criteria to choose the places based on a hierarchy that took into account the preservation state of each one (archaeological site) .”

The 12 places where she has worked are Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Cozumel and La Riviera Maya: El Meco, El Rey, San Miguelito, Calica (Rancho Ina), Xamanha (Playacar 1), San Gervasio, Xelha, Xcaret, Tulum, Tancah, Coba and Muyil.

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