Mundo Maya museum plans for big rebound

Office and storage space is renovated to make room for more programs and activities

The Gran Museo del Mundo Maya is shaping up to allow more activities and exhibits. Photo: Courtesy
The Gran Museo del Mundo Maya is shaping up to allow more activities and exhibits. Photo: Courtesy

Merida, Yucatan — A restructuring at the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya will begin to pay off with a rebound in visitors in the coming months, officials promise.

Work began after the fall election, when new state appointees deemed the huge complex a white elephant, lacking revenue-making programs.

The general director of museums and heritage of the Secretariat of Culture and the Arts (Sedeculta), Ana Eugenia Méndez Peterson, indicated that the museum wasted space, used for storage or administrative offices. So she has been renovating them for public use.

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For now, about 800 visit the museum daily, a little more on weekends. State tourism officials say they can do better, and are looking at hiring area professionals to make that happen.

“We are beginning to rehabilitate the Gran Museo with professional and trained personnel,” said Méndez Peterson. “The idea is that we have a vision in 2024 in which the museum is a destination for the southeast of the country.”

Thematic weekend tours for children have been revived, each lasting 30 minutes, with topics that are changed monthly.

Tours for youth and adults are in Spanish, Mayan and English.

Among the main tasks is to reactivate the temporary exhibition hall, with the aim of creating a cycle of presentations and that it is more attractive to the public, she said. No special exhibits were on the schedule when the new administration took power last year.

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He pointed out that the facilities must first be renovated, which will take two or three months.

Celebrating Maya culture since in opened in 2012, the Gran Museo houses more than 1,100 artifacts, including a reclining chac-mool sculpture from Chichén Itzá. It also has a gift shop, meeting rooms and a theater.

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