Archive for August, 2009

Chichen Itza Gets Square in New Monopoly Game

August 26th, 2009 by ejalbright

Chichen Itza and 21 other UNESCO World Heritage sites in Mexico will be featured in a special edition of the board game Monopoly.

Chichen Itza almost didn’t make the list. The maker of the game asked people to vote via a Web site. Of 22 possible spaces, Chichen Itza came in 22d with slightly more than 10,000 votes. Campeche came in first with more than 10 times that amount.

The game will be released for sale next year, in Spanish language and presumably throughout Mexico.

Category: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Financial Record of Chichen Itza Concert Found Complete, and a Complete Mess

August 13th, 2009 by ejalbright

For months there has been a very public and political battle waged over the money that changed hands in last year’s Concert of a Thousand Columns: Placido Domingo at Chichen Itza.

The opponents of Governor Ivonne Ortega Pacheco have claimed that the financial accounting of the concert has not been complete, and have demanded an investigation by the state Institute to Access of Public Information.

Earlier this week the Institute ruled that state agencies met the letter of the law with regard to making available financial records of the concert, and voted two to one to close the investigation without sanctions against the state government.

At issue were allegations of missing tickets. But while the documents provided by the state did not solve the mystery of the missing tickets, it addressed the issue in enough detail to satisfy the Institute.

However a review of the records found them to be, in the opinion of some, a complete mess. An analytic report of the concert finances by the firm Flota Erosa y Asociados is filled with discrepancies, according to individuals quoted in the Diario de Yucatan.

The report, according to the Diario, contains scant information about revenue and expenses, but copious praise for concert and its organizers. What information there is about the flow of money in the concert is not consistent between pages of the report, the newspaper reported.

According to Cecilia Pavia Gonzalez, a legislator who heads up the state Committee of Legislative Transparency, “Es un enredo (It was a mess).” She added, “The report contradicts the accounting director of Cultur (the state agency that sponsored the concert), Jorge Esma Bazan, who insists that the state government did not make expenditures for the concert because all were borne by the private company contracted to do.”

According to the report, INAH, the federal agency that oversees the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza, received more than $1 million (Mexican) for something called “participation.” And Ceiba Tours, a private tourism company, was listed as an expense of $414,000.

At one point in the document, income from the concert was listed as $35,075,131, and in another section as $30,523,814. Pavia Gonzalez has demanded that the report be clarified.

Category: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Director, Stars of Big-Budget ‘2012’ Visit Chichen Itza

August 10th, 2009 by ejalbright

Roland Emmerich, the director of ‘2012’, visited Chichen Itza last week.

The man who has nearly destroyed the world many times over visited Chichen Itza last week.

Roland Emmerich, director of ‘Independence Day’ and ‘The Day after Tomorrow,’ toured Chichen Itza as a publicity gimmick to drum up interest in his new movie, “2012.” He was joined by cast members John Cusack and Woody Harrelson, who toured the ruins and enjoyed dinner at the nearby Mayaland resort.

John Cusack, right, (with co-star Morgan Lily) also toured Chichen Itza

The movie, which opens in the United States on Nov. 13, uses the end of the 5,000-year Maya calendar on Dec. 21, 2012, as the plot device that gives director Emmerich the license to once again play havoc with some of the world’s most famous monuments. In ‘Independence Day,’ he blew up the U.S. Capitol Building; in ‘Godzilla’ and ‘The Day After Tomorrow,’ New York. In ‘2012,’ the entire planet is his canvas. Among the highlights, at least from the trailer:

Christ the Redeemer over Rio de Janeiro, which two years ago was named a Wonder of the World along with Chichen Itza;

The Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. The latter’s dome topples and crushes thousands who have gathered to pray during Earth’s final hours;

And the U.S. White House, which is smashed by the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier.

Emmerich, Cusack, and Harrelson got a private tour of the ancient city after the archaeological zone was closed last Thursday. The visit was part of a “Summer with Sony” event, in which the Japanese company came to Cancun to promote the musicians on its record label and the “2012” movie at its studio, Columbia Pictures.

During his visit to Chichen Emmerich reportedly stated that the possible annihilation of mankind in 2012 was something that many people would identify with.

You can see the destruction yourself at the “2012” page of Yahoo! Movies.

And for more blog entries on the end of the Maya calendar in 2012 and Chichen Itza, go HERE.

Category: Uncategorized | No Comments »

UPDATED: Ticket Prices Announced for Sarah Brightman at Chichen Itza

August 9th, 2009 by ejalbright

Ticket prices for Sarah Brightman at Chichen Itza on Oct. 31 have been announced, ranging from $500 Mexican to $8,000 Mexican, and are available by telephone order from Ticketmaster Mexico, reports the Diario de Yucatan.

The world-renowned soprano will be performing on Halloween, a few days before the traditional Mexican Day of the Dead.

In addition, the Diario reports that INAH, the federal agency that oversees Mexico’s pre-hispanic ruins, including Chichen Itza, has yet to give permission for the event. Last year INAH denied permission for the Placido Domingo concert, but eventually reversed its position after receiving promises from concert organizers that they would take steps to protect the archaeological zone.

Ticket prices for Sarah Brightman are $8,000 ($616 U.S.), $6,000 ($462), $3,000 ($231), $2,000 ($154), $1,000 ($77), and $500 ($39). Tickets can be reserved by calling Ticketmaster in Mexico at 942-19-31 and 942-19-33.

Category: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Sarah Brightman Sings at Chichen Itza October 31

August 7th, 2009 by ejalbright

Sarah Brightman performs Halloween

Sarah Brightman, the world renowned soprano, will perform October 31 at Chichen Itza.

The date was announced on her official Web site, While there is a link to tickets, the vendor, Ticketmaster Mexico, has yet to make tickets available or even announce the concert.

Brightman follows in the footsteps of Placido Domingo who performed a sold-out concert at Chichen Itza last fall. Organizers have already announced that Elton John will perform next year at what is shaping up to be an annual event.


Elton John Performing at Chichen Itza?

Placido Domingo Concert at Chichen Itza Raises $3 Million

Citizens Await Accounting of Placido Domingo Concert at Chichen Itza

Chaac Threatens, but Fails to Ruin Placido Domingo at Chichen Itza

Evening Light Show at Chichen Itza Suspended

Opposition Gives Up, but Still Unhappy with Placido Domingo Concert at Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza Insured for $20 Million for Placido Domingo Concert

Chichen Itza to Get Millions

Placido Domingo at Chichen Itza: How Do I Get There?

Placido Domingo to Fulfill Dream of Singing at Chichen Itza 10 Years After Being Replaced

Placido Domingo Concert at Chichen Itza to be Broadcast Free in Plazas in Yucatan

Wife of Mexico’s President to Attend Placido Domingo Concert at Chichen Itza

Profits from Placido Domingo Show to Go to Chichen Itza

Organizers Closer to Bringing Placid Domingo to Chichen Itza

Secretary of Education, Not INAH, to Decide on Placido Domingo Concert at Chichen Itza

UPDATE: Placido Domingo Concert at Chichen Itza Still up in Air, But Lots of Juicy Detail Revealed

INAH Heading for Showdown With State of Yucatan over Placido Domingo Concert?

INAH Council Issues Decision on Placido Domingo at Chichen Itza: ‘NO’

INAH Mum on Placido Domingo Concert at Chichen Itza

Placido Domingo to Sing At Chichen Itza October 4

Category: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Both Chichen Itza and Merida to Get Maya Museums

August 6th, 2009 by ejalbright

For months, the government of the state of Yucatan has been the center of bickering of where to locate a Maya museum. Governor Ivonne Ortega Pacheco has apparently invoked the wisdom of Solomon and apparently will split the facility between two locations, Merida and Chichen Itza.

The idea of building a museum to the Maya originated in the administration of Ortega’s predecessor, Patrice Patron. Patron wanted the museum in Merida and went so far as to identify and arrange the purchase of a parcel west of the city. When Ortega took office, she announced that the museum would instead be located at Chichen Itza.

This began a free-for-all, in which impresarios, unions, and other interested parties began fighting over the location. Some wanted Merida, others Chichen Itza, and still others, Valladolid.

Earlier this week the governor split the Gordian knot, and announced that the Museo Maya would now be in Merida, but that Chichen Itza would get something called a Palacio de la Cultura Maya. The distinction between the two facilities is somewhat vague, but if Ortega’s political instincts are sharp, this should halt much of the sniping between the locations.

The two facilities are among seven major projects announced by the Governor on Tuesday. Work will begin next year, she said. An estimated $500 million (Mexican) is estimated to be spent for all the projects, and some portion will be financedby private initiative, through the new program known as Proyectos de Participación Social (Projects of Social Participation or PPS).

Category: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Elton John Performing at Chichen Itza?

August 4th, 2009 by ejalbright

Yucatan Governor Ivonne Ortega Pacheco announced that Chichen Itza will be host to not one, but two, giant concerts.

This fall the pop soprano Sarah Brightman will perform in an extravaganza at the foot of the site’s giant pyramid, El Castillo. And next year Sir Elton John will be the featured performer in another concert.

The Chichen Itza concerts will “project us to the world and relaunch local, regional and national tourism,” said the governor in a speech which dealt with, in part, the devastation in the tourism industry that has resulted from the recent swine flu crisis.

Last fall Chichen Itza played host to Placido Domingo. That concert, while a popular success, continues to provoke controversy. It has become a political hot potato in the race for the mayoralty of Merida, the capitol of Yucatan, with one party claiming the other misappropriated funds from the concert.

Category: Uncategorized | No Comments »