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Museo de la Cancillería: The Chancellery Museum

Photo: Alejandro on Flickr.com under the Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license. 

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The Museo de la Cancillería, that is the Chancellery Museum, is one of Mexico City´s leading contemporary art museums. The museum opened in 2011 and it’s officially called the “Museum of the Historical and Artistic Collection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” A versatile space, the museum hosts individual and collective exhibitions with the intent of promoting the cultural image of the country. It also works to encourage the creators of contemporary Mexican art, and to share some of the history of Mexico’s international relations while strengthening cultural ties with other countries.

The museum also works to make public the donations made by artists to the Museum, through the “Payment in Kind” program of the Mexican Tax Administration Service (SAT). Among the best recognized artists represented in the collection are Boris Viskin, Betsabé Romero, Cisco Jiménez, Damián Ortega, Erick Meyenberg, Fernanda Brunet, Francisco Castro Leñero, José Castro Leñero, Leonora Carrington, Manuel Felguérez, María José de la Macorra, Máximo González, Miguel Castro Leñero, Pía Camil, Roger Von Gunten, and Vicente Rojo.

The Building

The museum is inside the monastery of the old oratory of San Felipe Neri which was part of the magnificent Tejada Library next door. Built in the latter half of the 17th century, the monastery housed the priests of the order until they moved their headquarters to the La Profesa Church just up the street. At that point the monastery functioned as an orphanage, stables, cellar, private home and a mechanical workshop. A definitive restoration began in 1970.

The Museo de la Cancillería also has historical documents, some artifacts, and a graphic collection to tell the history of diplomatic relations between Mexico and other countries.

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