Museo Popol Vuh in Guatemala

Central America - Editor - 07 July 2011

Museo Popol Vuh in Guatemala

The Universidad Francisco Marroquin, located in Guatemala City, is fortunate enough to have a very valuable museum on their campus grounds, namely the Museo Popol Vuh. This magnificent museum is one of the most significant establishments in the world, as it has one of the most priceless collections of Mayan artifacts, as well as pre-Columbian pieces. It is a non-profit organization and the private museum is able to support itself through generous donations received and its own funding. The museum was established to educate the public and preserve the rich history of Guatemala.

The Museo Popol Vuh was established in the year 1975. It began with Jorge Castillo, who owned a massive collection of artifacts that he had classified, as well as displays created in chronological order by a La Universidad del Valle archeology student. Some of the best preserved vases and other pottery of the Mayans were included in his collection, as well as stone sculptures and funerary ceramic art. Castillo passed away in the year 1977, donating his entire collection to the Universidad Francisco Marroquin. This led to the official establishment of the museum within the same year. Most of the collection that is still in the museum today was donated by Jorge and Ella Castillo, and have become the foundation of the Museo Popol Vuh. The museum derives its name from a novel that was written after the conquest of Guatemala by the Spanish called Popol Vuh. The book is filled with the legendary tales of kings and conquerors who ruled Guatemala.

The museum is wheelchair friendly and offers guided tours of its galleries. Visitors will also be able to view the workshops where restoration of artifacts is performed, as well as archaeological work. All Guatemalans will enjoy learning about the Mayan culture as the lectures and workshops given by the museum enable locals to learn more about their heritage and links to the Mayans. There are more than four hundred items on display in the Museo Popol Vuh, with the oldest and most precious being a clovis point that dates back all the way to 9000 BC. The galleries offer exhibits of various periods, including Paleoindian, Archaic, Preclassic, Early Classic, Late Classic, Postclassic and Colonial Period.


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