Archive for October 6th, 2008

Officers! Arrest that tenor!

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Placido Domingo sang at Chichen Itza Saturday night.

“The world’s greatest tenor at one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World,” the publicity materials say.

“The world’s greatest tenor should be in the slammer,” the archaeologists retort.

Domingo’s concert inside Chichen Itza violates a law that requires the ruins to be preserved to educate Mexicans about ancient cultures, said Cuauhtemoc Velasco, a leader of the archaeologists’ union.

“These monuments are not there so that rich people can hold events at them” said Velasco, noting the tickets cost between $45 and $900 in a country with a minimum wage of about $4.50 per day.

For present-day Mayas like Amadeo Cool May, who hosts a Mayan-language radio program, the concert “is an event for foreigners who come here on vacation. It is something completely alien to the Mayas, because of the ticket prices and the type of music.”

Judging solely from the sketchy info in the article, I would say the legal beef is a tad thin on substance. The concert is not going to destroy the ruins or keep them from educating Mexicans about Mayan culture.

The cultural argument, otoh, has some bite. The government in charge of protecting Mayan sites is basically selling them out to events that have no relevance to the Mayan community. I can see why they’d be pissed about that, especially when long-term health of the ruins can be compromised by excessive use.

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