By Helaine Silverman
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Extra resources for Archaeological Site Museums in Latin America
The site museums discussed in this volume are philosophically and pragmatically in agreement with Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s admonishment. It is also important to bear in mind that development predicated upon site museums in Latin America is a different process with a radically dissimilar so- 12 / Helaine Silverman cial and historical context than the one problematized by Hewison (1987) in his famous discussion of Britain’s heritage industry. Hewison attributes extensive recent museum growth in the United Kingdom to a replacement of “the real industry upon which this country’s economy depends.
2 The imminent approach of the rainy season necessitated removing the newly discovered head from its resting place at the bottom of a deep ravine, transporting it to the village, and obtaining permission for it to stay there permanently. In coordination with INAH and PEMEX, these objectives were achieved. Using steel cables and a large crane, a crew specialized in maneuvering heavy objects extracted the eight-ton head from the ravine and placed it on a low-bed truck for transport into town. Unfortunately, owing to the fact that the roof of the community museum was incomplete and the colossal head unsheltered, it was in danger of being claimed by a large museum.
Funding was granted, and construction began in March of 1995, coinciding with the next field season at the site (Cyphers 2004). The town was ecstatic, but others were not—perhaps because a museum in Tenochtitlán was perceived as an excellent excuse to remove the sculptures from the Azuzul ranch. Perhaps it was not totally coincidental that, at this time, Cyphers was denounced at the highest level of the Veracruz state government for the supposed nighttime robbery of a second colossal head (supposedly found next to the other one), which she purportedly removed from the ravine in a pick-up truck.
Archaeological Site Museums in Latin America by Helaine Silverman
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