|Santa Maria Acapulco before the fire|
On July 1st 2007 lightning struck the exceptional rustic church of Santa Maria Acapulco, located in an indigenous Pame village.Within minutes the traditional wood and thatch roof, of a size unique in Mexico, was in flames, spreading to the nave of the church and its many retablos, a grievous loss to the villagers and the legacy of colonial art.
|Santa Maria Acapulco, the nave before the fire|
|the facade as restored|
|facade lion relief detail|
An existing INAH conservation and documentation program already under way assumed greater urgency. A full restoration project was launched to repair and as far as possible restore as much of the fabric and furnishings as possible.The walls were strengthened and a new wood and thatch roof fashioned after the original manner.
|Retablo of Dolores|
|main wall altarpiece, statue of St Francis|
The new Guadalupe retablo
Although the abundant wall murals were also damaged by the fire, many have been repainted with the participation of the Pame villagers.
mural fragments before and afterThe partial restoration of this unique church and its treasures is heartening to the sorrowing villagers as well as lovers of Mexican colonial art and architecture.
text © 2020 Richard D. Perry
images © Nicccolo Brooker and online sources