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De Young Museum: The Harald Wagner Collection of Teotihuacan Murals

This website from the de Young Museum (a 293,000 sq. ft. museum located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park) presents a happy ending to what started as a story of looted cultural heritage. Harald Wagner, 1903 - 1976, was an architectural draftsman and property developer, as well as a painter and art collector, who loved and traveled to Mexico frequently, and bought a home there in the 1950s. In four separate purchases in the 1960s, Wagner acquired over seventy painted wall fragments that range in size from a few inches to fourteen feet, and date from 400-700 A.D. Research conducted since his death and bequest of his mural collection to the de Young in 1976, now indicates almost positively that all of the Wagner murals came from two compounds, Techinantitla and Tlacuilapaxco, both in the ancient city, Teotihuacan, about an hour north of Mexico City. Due to the ethical issues involved with the bequest of such a large collection, de Young Museum officials negotiated with the Mexican government for several years. The result was a collaborative agreement with Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology for the joint conservation, exhibition, and management of this impressive collection. The complete story of the murals is told at the site, along with zoomable images of seven fragments of the murals.
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Date of Scout Publication
August 28th, 2009
Date Of Record Creation
August 28th, 2009 at 11:10am
Date Of Record Release
December 21st, 2009 at 12:49am
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