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Elton John's Mexico concert in ancient ruins angers Mayans

Elton John's Mexico concert in ancient ruins angers Mayans

Even after the stage collapsed injuring three workers, indigenous Mayans complained Friday that Elton John's upcoming concert in the ruins of Chichen Itza was irreverent and out of place.
The concert amid the majestic pyramids in southern Mexico is going ahead on Saturday as planned, organizers said, despite Thursday's accident caused by a collapsing 80m (262-foot) metal tower which left one worker with serious leg injuries.
The announcement rankled local Mayan leaders and officials, who pointed out that perhaps the accident was the work of "aluxes," the Mayan culture's equivalent of fairies, who were upset because their gods' permission for the concert was lacking.
"With each concert, in the early morning, a ritual is performed to ask for permission, and this time it was not done," Yucatan state public works secretary Francisco Torres told the Reforma daily.
As with previous concerts by Spanish tenor Placido Domingo in 2008 and British soprano Sarah Brightman in 2009, Mayan leaders, archaeologists and some say even the local gods, resent the sacred ruins being used for profit-seeking entertainment.
Forty researchers from the National Institute of Anthropology and History, which takes cares of the Chichen Itza complex, recently published their complaints about Saturday's musical event in local media.
Chichen Itza "is no scenery for an artist to show off, for the enjoyment of an elite or for the political and economic benefit of a small group of people, as well as powerful multinationals," wrote the scientists.
The concert venue near Merida has a 6,000-seat capacity that is 90 percent booked, with ticket prices ranging from US$80 to US$800 - putting it clearly out of range of the local Maya population.


Updated : 2020-12-01 11:06 GMT+08:00