After being closed to the public for several centuries a building called La Tercena de Metztitlán will reopen as a cultural center in Hidalgo. The Tercena is one of the few buildings from the 16th century that still exist in Mexico and consists of a combination of indigenous and European elements in its construction.
Original murals were found inside the building in the 1970s, but the structure had fallen into disrepair due to lack of attention, seismic activity and vandalism.
Believed to have been a storage building used by the Catholic Church to collected tithes and by the colonial powers to collect tributes, La Tercena opened to the public on Monday to host a local crafts fair. Local promoter Enrique Cruz Verde, the owner of the Galería Bruno in Tula, says the plan is to keep using the building as a cultural center that can be used to host events such as Monday’s.
“We have invited artists from Tula through Galería Bruno, to promote community, diffusion, and sale of the work of participants, and I think it’s a good moment and the right space to continue this artistic and cultural work,” said Cruz.
Cruz lamented what he says is a lack of interest on the part of Mexico’s National Institute for Anthropology and History (INAH) in preserving the local landmark.
“The INAH should get more involved, they have forgotten this building for a long time, they have only intervened twice and this is how it was left … so I think it’s up to us citizens to show how valuable it is,” said Cruz.