Mexico's ancient ruins center of protest
Updated 11:14 p.m., Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Mexico City --
Mexicans are taught to revere their pre-Columbian roots. So some archaeologists are outraged by what they view as the government's failure to safeguard the nation's Mayan palaces and Aztec pyramids.
A recent decision by the government to erect a glass and steel facade on a portion of the historic Fort of Guadalupe in Puebla in time for the Sept. 15 Mexican independence celebrations was the last straw. The archaeologists have occupied Mexico's prestigious National Museum of Anthropology, telling museum-goers that taking liberties with federally protected buildings was becoming commonplace.
The late-summer tourists who flock to the Chapultepec Park institution are greeted by banners, petitions and angry anthropologists with megaphones. A barefoot Mayan-speaking researcher in a white tunic blows into a conch shell to announce speeches in the lobby.
Archaeologists are tweeting about "aggressions against patrimony" and using Facebook to decry tacky tourist development and New Age spectacles that they say will ruin the ruins.