Historic Chapel Demolished in Tlaxcala

Officials at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) filed a criminal complaint this week after an 18th-century chapel was bulldozed in Vicente Guerrero, Tlaxcala.

No one is pointing any fingers but it was hinted that local residents tore down the building, designated as a national monument, on Saturday night and Sunday.

The institute’s coordinator of historical monuments said he didn’t understand why residents would have done so.

“We don’t understand how a community that is eminently Catholic, that traditionally follows the rites of the Catholic Church, could have committed this barbaric act,” said Baldrano Arturo Campos.

Some villagers told reporters the chapel was in disrepair and not as old as authorities say.

Local, state and ecclesiastical authorities charged with protecting such buildings were unaware of any plan to demolish the chapel, which was undertaken with heavy machinery. All the rubble of the demolition was completely removed, leaving a bare lot.

The chapel was state property, although the Catholic Church could still use it for religious celebrations.

The bright blue and yellow Chapel of the Holy Christ was built during colonial times by the Franciscan order.

The Attorney General and Baldrano are investigating whether other charges, such as the looting of national assets and sacred art, will be pursued. Those responsible for the destruction of the building could face between three and 11 years in jail.

This is “a barbaric act and unparalleled in the damage it has done to the cultural heritage of all Mexicans,” Baldrano said.

Source – El Universal