One of my favorite museums in Mexico has to be Guanajuato’s Museo de Las Momias.
Set off alongside the city cemetery overlooking the city, this plain little museum has always struck me as being more about life than death. A visit there a few years ago, just days after a friend had died, seemed to tie life and death together more neatly than all of the platitudes tossed about at your average funeral service.
Guanajuato’s one of those Mexican states which sends great numbers of its citizens off to live, work and die in El Otro Lado. Its civic leaders thought sending a few mummies to Chicago could prove an enriching cultural exchange, but Chicago offered to send them where Mexicans live: Cicero. And not even in some mainstream museum, but a high school gym.
While no one’s mentioned what kind of visas the U.S. government would even grant the dead, offering up the use of a gym signals the level of respect the U.S. harbors for even the Mexican dead. I’d suspect that even the Cicero High School prom warrants a better venue. Even the National Museum of Mexican Fine Art over in Pilsen would be a better choice, even though it still puts Mexicans in a ghetto.