New restorations begin at Casa de Montejo

Casa de Montejo is on the south side of the Plaza Grande and dates from 1549. Its facade is being restored.
Casa de Montejo is on the south side of the Plaza Grande and dates from 1549. Its ornate facade is being restored. Photo: Getty
Casa de Montejo is on the south side of the Plaza Grande and dates from 1549. Its ornate facade is being restored. Photo: Getty

Mérida, Yucatán — Historic Casa de Montejo is getting another facelift. Its ornate façade will be cleared of cables, lamps and 15 years’ worth of dust, grime and little souvenirs left behind by pigeons and crows.

A more discreet solution to protecting Casa de Montejo’s elaborate and fanciful friezes from bird droppings will also be installed.

Grupo Banamex, the owner of the property since 1981, also intends to illuminate exterior walls a lighting system mounted on poles on the sidewalk along the Plaza Grande, across the street. That will replace the up lights recessed into the sidewalk.

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An extensive three-year renovation was completed in 2010, when its museum was opened.

The task is being supervised by Maria Fernanda Escalante, local restoration coordinator for INAH.

The most prominent part of the Casa is seen over the entrance, a sculpture of the Montejo coat of arms and a gruesome depiction of two Spanish soldiers conquering what appear to be barbarians, but obviously meant to symbolize indigenous people.

Casa de Montejo is on the south side of the Plaza Grande and dates from 1549. The mansion was built by a conquistador named Don Francisco de Montejo, and is an extremely rare example of civil construction in the Renaissance style known as Plateresque, although evidence of a 1914 modernization remains.

Inside, a museum contains a library, living room, bedroom, and dining room, elegantly furnished in late 19th-century and early 20th century style. Art exhibits are regularly scheduled in modern viewing rooms.

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Casa de Montejo is on the south side of the Plaza Grande and dates from 1549. Its facade is being restored.
Casa de Montejo is on the south side of the Plaza Grande and dates from 1549. Its facade is being restored.

Foundation data bank that indicate that the last time protection works and renovation of the Casa de Montejo was performed in a three-year period that spanned from 2008 to 2010.

Preliminary work began on Saturday.

A 19th-century lithograph of Casa de Montejo. Source: Wikipedia
A 19th-century lithograph of Casa de Montejo, when it was still a private residence. Source: Wikipedia

Sources: Diario de Yucatán, Yucatán Today

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