Mexico's National Museum of Anthropology and History (MNAH), one of the ten most important institutions of its kind in the world, is celebrating its 40th anniversary with cocktail receptions and new exhibitions. Sadly, however, there is little to celebrate for the impoverished descendants of the peoples whose cultures are proudly preserved in the museum's halls.
The director of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), Sergio Raúl Arroyo, said that the MNAH has succeeded "in crafting an extraordinary bridge between the past and present, allowing us to reshape our idea of what cultural diversity means." But in Mexico today, cultural diversity is not marked by respect, but rather by the discrimination of some groups against others, according to historian Lorenzo Meyer.
"It's really paradoxical," U.S. anthropologist Teo Martens told IPS. "The museum showcases the greatness of Mexican indigenous cultures, and on the street outside you see the miserable conditions they live in." >> continue