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Authorities Investigating Mysterious Church Demolition in Mexico

Government of Mexico

Locals may have feared chapel was unsafe

A historic chapel was mysteriously demolished this week in the Mexican state of Tlaxcala, and nobody knows who was responsible, or why it was done, CNN Mexico reported.

The 18th century Chapel of Santo Cristo in San Pablo del Monte, Tlaxcala, was classified as a historical monument.

Nobody seems to know exactly what happened. The governor of Tlaxcala, Mariano González Zarur, was notified Tuesday afternoon about the demolition and announced a joint investigation by the attorney general’s office and the National Institute of Anthropology and History.

The chapel, an example of traditional religious architecture from the colonial period, had elements of masonry walls and buttresses, and a barrel vault and two bell towers added in the nineteenth century.

"The action seems all the more surprising, in that the region is known to be a deeply devout Catholic area, so there is no suggestion that leftists carried out the action," said William Newton, posting at Blog of the Courtier

At present, local police believe this was an act of ignorance, which grew out of the combination of two rather unfortunate ideas. Some residents were concerned that cracks in the chapel walls indicated that it was in danger of collapse, and therefore razing the building was a matter of public safety. However authorities from the National Institute of Anthropology and History, the federal agency charged with historic preservation of Mexico’s cultural patrimony, say that the building was structurally sound, and pointed out that any building more than a century old is bound to have some cracks in it which do not affect the integrity of the structure.

In addition,… locals may have supported it because it was commonly felt that the chapel blocked the view of the parish church across the street.  

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