Posted 3 апреля, 12:54
Published 3 апреля, 12:54
Modified 3 апреля, 15:29
Updated 3 апреля, 15:29
Experts from the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History expressed concern about the "fungal growths" found on one of the exhibits of the Museum of Mummies in Guanajuato. In their opinion, the infection may pose a danger to visitors, the Daily Mail reports.
The local law in force at that time obliged people to pay a tax so that the bodies of their relatives remained in the cemetery, otherwise the tombs were freed from the dead. During exhumation, some of the corpses were found mummified – probably because of the dry, highly mineralized soils that favored this.
The mummies were kept in a special building at the cemetery, and in the late 1960s, seeing the interest of tourists, the authorities organized a museum in which they exhibited mummies in showcases. More than 4,000 visitors come weekly to see murder victims, executed criminals and babies who were buried in the costumes of saints to ease their way to heaven. According to rumors, there are those who died from the cholera epidemic, as well as those buried alive. However, this information has not been officially confirmed.
From time to time, exhibits are lent to other museums, for example, some of the Mexican mummies toured the United States. Now some mummies are being shown at a tourist fair in Mexico City. The Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History issued a statement saying that this action may be unsafe. Specialists of the institute distanced themselves from the decision of the authorities to exhibit mummies in glass cases at the fair, saying that they were not consulted.
"It is even more alarming that they are exposed without guarantees of compliance with biological hazards," experts say. – Judging by some published photos, at least one of the exhibited corpses, which was examined at the institute in November 2021, shows signs of the spread of possible fungal colonies. A thorough study is needed to determine whether this poses a risk to cultural heritage items, as well as to those who handle them and come to see them." What kind of fungus caused the alarm of experts is not reported.