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Culture
Nature
Mixed
N°: 3247

The tradition for conservation: the use of Talavera (glazed ceramic tile) in antique buildings.

Mexico
State Party
27,880 USD
Approved amount
28 May 2021
Decision Date
Terminated
Process Step
In situ recording of designs and characteristics of Talavera pieces for architectural use, 2022 | Tomás Meraz | Image Source: Final report
Objectives

The talavera is a manufacturing technique of glazed ceramic tiles from the viceregal period, which was imported by Spaniards who settled on the present State of Puebla and State of Tlaxcala territory. This artisanal tradition has endured for centuries up to our days and has been recognized in 2019 through its inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The facades of "petatillo" (combination of talavera and brick pieces) also gave to the City of Puebla a seal of identity which is part of the attributes of Outstanding Universal Value of this World Heritage site, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1987.

The project aimed at inventorying some antique buildings in the Historic Centre of Puebla that have these talavera and artisanal bricks and at establishing a condition assessment report in order to evaluate priorities in conservation interventions. It aimed also to provide the community of talavera’s craftsman with the various antique designs that could be used in the reproduction of the talavera tiles, in order to incorporate them in the current techniques, to safeguard the full tradition.

Results

The project was implemented by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) who made a full photographic and planimetric record of 18 buildings. The on-site survey took place from 25 February to 31 March 2022 and from 16 to 20 May 2022. A catalog of tile designs identified in each of the 18 registered buildings was produced, accompanied with a general description of the state of conservation of these 18 buildings. Most of them are in stable structural condition, despite having suffered the 2017 earthquake.

An online meeting also took place on 27 April 2022 with the artisan producers of talavera ceramics. As a result of this meeting, on 17-18 May 2022 INAH visited four of the nine workshops certified by the Regulatory Council of Talavera, A.C. A copy of the catalog of tile designs was also shared with the talavera workshops.

The information obtained during this inventory was so abundant that it exceeded INAH’s expectations; it was also of great interest for all stakeholders to identify several exceptional talavera pieces.

The Management of the Historic Centre of Puebla has expressed its interest in taking advantage of the information obtained to plan conservation-restoration activities in some of the registered buildings.

It is also expected to maintain the close relationship achieved with the talavera workshops, and seek their integration in future projects of conservation-restoration of historic buildings in the Historic Centre of Puebla.

Amount Requested: 27,880 USD
Type of Assistance: Cultural / Conservation
Modality: Technical Cooperation
World Bank: UMC
N°: 3247
Decision: Approved
Decision by: Chairperson
Approved amount: 27,880 USD
Decision Date: 28 May 2021