A Much Better Use

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I’m always pleased to discover an abandoned ecclesiastical building that has been transformed for a higher purpose. In this case, the 16th century former Convento de San Augustin in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán Mexico was restored and turned into a public library. Dedicated to the 19th century independence leader Gertrudis Bocanegra , the library also houses an extraordinary fresco mural by Irish-Mexican artist and architect Juan O’Gorman.

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Completed in 1942, and ironically funded by American entrepreneur E.J. Kaufmann, the 46 by 42 foot mural tells the history of the indigenous Purépechao people from pre-Colonial days until independence.

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