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Mexican handcraft masters: stonemasonry

5 minutes

How keeping a craft tradition alive can bring a 500-year-old city into the future

The city of Morelia in the Mexican state of Michoacán is famed for its distinctive and well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture. While its buildings feature a wide variety of colonial styles, they’re unified by their pinkish hue, the result of having been built from cantera, a volcanic rock mined exclusively in Mexico and Central America. In 1991, UNESCO declared Morelia’s city centre a World Heritage Site, citing it as an ‘outstanding example of urban planning, which combines the ideas of the Spanish Renaissance with the Mesoamerican experience’. Mexican Handcraft Masters: Stonemasonry celebrates the traditional methods of extraction, cutting and carving with which stonemasons have sustained Morelia’s beauty for 500 years, and which they must find a way to pass down to future generations to preserve the city’s singular architecture. The video is part of the Mexican director Mariano Rentería Garnica’s short documentary series on artisans in Michoacán.

Director: Mariano Rentería Garnica

Producer: Jorge Díez

Sound: Kevin Pineda Gould

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