MEXICO CITY (AP) – It hasn’t been a good week for colonial-era architecture in Mexico.

The government said Thursday that a truck driver with an oversized load smashed part of an arch of a centuries-old colonial aqueduct south of Mexico City. And last Friday, heavy rains caused part of the facade of a centuries-old church on the Yucatan Peninsula to collapse.

This all comes three weeks after Mexico had to send in the National Guard and police to finally stop months of private construction work that likely destroyed the pre-Hispanic archaeological sites of Teotihuacan.


The incident occurred Wednesday night when a flatbed truck carrying what appeared to be several giant sections of concrete storm sewer attempted to pass under the arches of a colonial-era aqueduct in the town of Yautepec. , south of Mexico City.

The Arches of San Carlos, as the aqueduct stretch is called, extend over a section of a busy road, and traffic is supposed to slow down, check for clearance, and pass under them.

This did not happen on Wednesday, and sections of the drainpipe struck part of the arch, sending part of the massive stone and brick structure collapsing to the ground. The aqueduct was built in colonial times to bring water to the sugar mills that flourished there in the 1600s and 1700s.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History reported on Friday that part of the facade of a colonial stone church on the Yucatan Peninsula had partially collapsed after four days of heavy rains.

The Chapel of the Child Jesus in the Mayan town of Tihosuco, west of the resort town of Tulum, had been partially roofless for years; it was damaged during the fighting of the last Mayan uprising, known as the caste war, between 1847 and 1901.

Built from the 1500s, the church was not completed in its present form until 1839. Tihosuco was an important Mayan city and was the scene of fighting between the Mayans angered by excessive taxes and exploitation, and government troops who brutally suppressed the rebellion. .

Like most modern societies, Mexico struggles to coexist with its historical architectural richness.

On May 31, Mexico sent 250 National Guard soldiers and 60 police officers to seize land near the pre-Hispanic ruins of Teotihuacán, where authorities said bulldozers were destroying peripheral parts of the archaeological site.

Mexican archaeological officials had been trying since March to halt the private construction project, but work continued on what local media say are plans to build some sort of amusement park.

The Ministry of Culture estimated that at least 25 old structures on the site were threatened and said it had filed a criminal complaint against those responsible.

Apparently, the owners of agricultural plots are trying to turn the land into a recreation area. The area is just outside and opposite the site’s famous boulevard and pyramid complex.

The United Nations International Council on Monuments and Sites said bulldozers threatened to raze up to 15 acres (7 hectares) at the site, which is a protected area. The council also said the looting of artifacts had been detected.

Teotihuacan is best known for its twin Sun and Moon temples, but it was actually a large city that housed over 100,000 residents and covered around 20 square kilometers.

The still mysterious city was one of the largest in the world at its peak between 100 BC and 750 AD. But it was abandoned before the rise of the Aztecs in the 14th century.


Source link