For immediate release
2 November 2009
Mexican Embassy prepares altar dedicated to Dr. Seddon Bennington for Day of the Dead celebrations
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Every year in early November, Mexican families set up an altar in their homes to honour a special person who has died.
This is part of the celebration of El Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead), a national holiday held on 2 November.
It is a very colourful, happy occasion as it is believed that the dead return to visit their families at this time. The
celebration combines pre-Hispanic beliefs with the Catholic traditions of Spain.
With the blessing of the family and the assistance of the staff of Te Papa, the Embassy has chosen to honour Dr.
Bennington on this occasion due to his close ties to the Embassy on both a professional and a personal level, and his
passion for Mexican culture. He was instrumental in setting the stage for an international exhibition of treasures from
the Aztec empire to be held at Te Papa in 2011. To this end, he visited Mexico as early as 2006 to look into holding an
exhibition of works from this ancient civilization and an agreement with Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and
History was signed the following year. Also in 2007, Te Papa hosted a curator from the Mexican National Museum of
Cultures to discuss the curating of a Pacific exhibition.
Artists William Franco and Miki Seifert have helped the Embassy to set up the altar in the Embassy’s art gallery and it
will be open to the public each weekday from 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. Those wishing to visit the gallery should call
472 0555 to make an appointment.