Baroque façade that used to be at the front of San Agustin Convent during 16th century, demolished after instauration of Reform Law, was admired again using multimedia technology, which recreates details and color of the New Spain building.
This multimedia project is one of three in the world and unique in Latin America. Ontario, Canada, and Athens, Greece, where Parthenon is recreated, are the other projects that use cutting edge technology.
Based on historical investigation, multimedia presentation of Zacatecas building constructed in 1576, allows recreating accurately this Baroque façade, one of the most important in the Americas, which counted on with more than 1,800 decorative elements.
Rodolfo Elizondo, federal minister of Tourism, Francesco Bandarin, director of Cultural Heritage at United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Amalia Garcia, governor of Zacatecas State, and Alfonso de Maria y Campos, general director of the National Institute of Anthropology and History
(INAH), met at Plaza Miguel Auza to preside the inauguration of the multimedia project which objectives are to rescue Zacatecas people identity as well as to promote cultural tourism.
The façade was demolished in 1862 to give the building a civil use, and its virtual reconstruction is based in graphic testimonies such as the ones found at National Library of France, in Paris, where researchers found a Phillipe Ronde engraving that shows the original appearance of the building.
An ancient photography captured from La Bufa Mount was also located, where one of the towers and part of the façade before its demolition are observed. Historical sources reveal that San Agustin was one of the most important buildings in Zacatecas.
After Reform Law implementation in 1850, the building had amusement and dwelling uses. In 1948 restoration work began at the former temple, which concluded in 1969.
Development of this virtual salvage initiative was possible thanks to the jointed effort of federal and state governments, and has become a referent for restorers around the world, as an alternative to apply at historical work impossible to recover.
Zacatecas is present in 2010 Bicentennial of the Independence celebrations with this project, which also was the frame where works of the Congress of UNESCO World Heritage Experts, taking place from August 26th to 28th 2009.
The international forum has summoned world heritage experts from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, as well as Mexican Government and UNESCO officers, to establish objectives and work plan of what will become UNESCO Category II Center, to be approved in October 2009 during the General Conference in Paris, France.