The Mexico City building that housed the first printing press in the Americas will reopen its doors to the public, the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM) announced last week.
The First Print Shop in the Americas Cultural Center will be inaugurated on Wednesday with an exhibition of objects belonging to English-born artist and nationalized Mexican citizen Leonora Carrington.
The exhibition will display over 200 photographs, letters and other objects belonging to the artist, which were acquired by the university when it purchased her studio and house in 2017. Located in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, the studio will be opened as a museum in 2020.
The building that housed the first printer in the Americas had served as a cultural and continuing education center since 1994, but was closed last year for restoration work totaling 20 million pesos (US $1.03 million).
Center director Ivette Gómez Carrión explained in a press release that the work included restoring the facade, building an auditorium, installing an elevator, fitting out a rooftop terrace and improving the rooms for exhibitions and workshops.
“[The building] has the obligation to grow and get closer to the public, and we will work intensely to make that happen,” she said.
Gómez expressed gratitude for the collaboration of the federal and city governments in the restoration process of the colonial structure located next to the National Palace in Mexico City’s historic center.
Metropolitan Autonomous University media director Francisco Mata added that thanks to the rehabilitation of the building, the university can now “increase its cultural offerings and its presence in the cultural corridor of the historic center.”
The building was constructed in 1539 atop what was previously the Aztec temple to Tezcatlipoca, the god of darkness. The print shop was established by Juan Cromberger, a publisher based in Seville, and run by Italian printer Juan Pablos.
The building is also called the Casa de las Campanas (House of the Bells), for it was here that the bells in the nearby Mexico City cathedral were cast.
Source: El Sol de México (sp)