By way of footnote to the parade entry, Bloggerboy has drawn my attention to the Mardis Gras parade as a glaring exception to my remarks. Were we able to consult with someone who has attended Carnaval in Rio, I am sure they would point to that parade as an exception, too. They are, or would be, both quite correct. Any parade that involves people removing their clothing or wearing little or nothing at the outset is something considerably more than just a parade.
It occurred to me that I have not made the attempt to show you one of the most impressive buildings, if not the most impressive, in San Miguel. At the risk of returning to the “my Mexican vacation” mode, I am going to make the attempt right now. I say “make the attempt” because that is all one can do with this building by way of photographs. I cannot begin to give you any idea of the scope of this building. These snapshots may be worse than nothing at all by reason of the unavoidable misimpression created.
The Centro Cultural “Ignacio Ramirez:” Instituto National de Bellas Artes, Bellas Artes for short, was constructed over ten years starting in 1755. It was originally the Convent of the Immaculate Conception, a cloistered convent. During the Revolution of 1910 led by the Indian Benito Juarez when the Catholic Church fell on hard times, to say the least, the building was expropriated by the government. After several metamorphoses, it became what it is today, a respected art school run under the auspices of the government. Oddly enough it is now named after Ignacio Ramirez, inarguably the most famous of Mexican atheists, a Renaissance man with an incredibly diverse career.
Bellas Artes is huge with many murals done by students, including an unfinished abstract mural by the famous Davíd Alfaro Siqueiros, whom I mentioned earlier, when he was a student. I have not even attempted to photograph these murals with my little camera.
Which brings me to my real point. What the hell are we going to do without cloistered convents if they keep disappearing at the rate they are?