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Palacio de las Bellas Artes

Author: Margarita Zieda0 COMMENTS

Palacio de las Bellas Artes


Today, Palacio de las Bellas Artes is listed as an artistic monument protected by the UNESCO, and yet there was a time when the construction of the building evolved into a real drama and seemed all but impossible. The early 1900s saw the Italian architect Adamo Boari commissioned to design a new cultural centre which would take the place of the old National Theatre of Mexico, offering art and culture lovers a fresh space uncontaminated with the breath of colonialism. In his design, Adamo Boari had melted together a number of contemporary styles; however, the mixture was to be dominated by Art Deco and Neoclassical style. The façade and interior of the building were panelled with multicoloured marble, increasing the weight of the whole structure to gigantic levels; as a result, the building has now sunk for a few metres below the street level.
The four years initially allotted for the construction turned into thirty; the soft swampy Mexican soil caused the foundation of the building sink deeper and deeper into the ground. The final straw that proved too much for the architect's nerves was the Mexican Revolution: Boari returned to Europe without any intention of ever coming back to Latin America. What he did leave behind was some 4000 documents. After careful studies of the detailed plans and calculations, the Mexicans made several attempts to complete the construction on their own. A number of famous mural painters - Diego Rivera among them - and sculptors were involved in creating the decor of Palacio de las Bellas Artes.
The building comprises a number of different stages and auditoriums, the largest of which seats 1900 spectators and features a stage measuring twenty-four metres in width and a twenty-two-tonne crystal curtain.
Palacio de las Bellas Artes first opened its doors to the public in 1934; since then, some of the greatest artists of their time have graced its stage, including the likes of Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti and Rudolf Nureyev.

www.palacio.bellasartes.gob.mx

 

09/2011

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