Wednesday, July 23, 2008

They'll See Dead People

You may remember (okay, you probably don't, what with having a life to lead and all, so here's a link) the contretemps last May over the Guanajuato Mummies that were supposed to visit Chicago and then were all like, "We said Chicago, not Spictown-Cicero, pendejos!" Well, our Chicago Bureau sends word this morning that the standoff has come to an end.

After some trepidation, officials in the Mexican city of Guanajuato have agreed to exhibit up to two dozen of their famous mummies in Cicero for their first show outside Mexico.

After reviewing the proposal, Guanajuato's city council voted unanimously last week to give the mummies a temporary home in Cicero.

Perhaps inspired by their counterparts in the Mexican press, the Chicago Tribune reporters manage to write a 700-word article on the resolution of the crisis without explain how it was resolved, or exactly where (since the physical venue was the issue) the mummies will be displayed.

And:

Camacho and other officials are hoping crowds will like the mummies so much that they will be enticed to visit their Mexican hometown and bring tourist dollars to Guanajuato.

"Americans today come to Mexico for vacation, but unfortunately we are a city in the center of Mexico with no beaches," said Camacho, adding that the exhibit could open later this year or early next year. "We think the mummies, apart from generating income, are the principle promoters for tourism to come to the city."

We have no dog - dead or otherwise - in this fight, but let us just say that, as tourism-builders go, a pile of dessicated peasant corpses is just about the dumbest, possibly the saddest, idea we've ever heard. Setting aside the fact that there's little to do in Guanajuato except visit the Mummy Museum - which, if you go to this exhibit, you'll already have done - the mummies themselves are barely even worth the trip to Cicero. Face it, these are the only mummies in the world the British couldn't be bothered to plunder.

These are not painstakingly embalmed royals, but rather the ancestors of regular townsfolk.

"They are everyday people," said Luis Eligio Rubalcava, Guanajuato's director of museums.

Exactamente. Imagine the King Tut exhibit without the golden treasures - just a bunch of blackened, shriveled cadavers clad in sackcloth. Hardly makes you want to pack the family off to Luxor, now does it?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

And here in Queretaro, to whip up the enthusiasm of the tourists, we have flower pots in the streets, which are falling apart (the pots and the streets), an imminent dancing waters fountain. and ersatz tours of the city at night when history, in the form of several ill-trained actors, is re-enacted right on the very spot where it probably didn't happen. Meanwhile, the city's real charm - lovely old buildings, quaint streets- is allowed to disintegrate, while the government encourages more malls, more factories, more official buildings to perpetuate the endless paperwork that makes this country hum. Frankly, a few mummies might improve matters here.

Burro Hall said...

We have a neighbor who's having a knee replaced. Perhaps we can persuade him to exhibit the old one in the Jardin Zenea?

Anonymous said...

Hey, don't diss Guanajuato, it's not THAT bad...at least for hanging out for a couple of days, and we didn't even see dead people (that we knew of, anyway)

Perhaps my recollection is a bit biased as I was honeymooning on my visit, but it definitely had it's charms, not the least trying to drive there.