Culture Renovates and Highlights the Value of the Juan Ponce de León Museum
The property, built by the Spanish conqueror in 1505, was restored in 1970 by the government of Puerto Rico.
The Ministry of Culture and the Directorate of Cultural Heritage organized the renovation of the Juan Ponce de León Museum, located in San Rafael del Yuma, in the Province La Altagracia.
The building served as residence to the conqueror of Puerto Rico and as refuge to the Spaniards that were in that district while they were being attacked by the natives. Its reopening to the public, which constitutes a need for MINC, is scheduled to take place in June.
Ana María Conde, Director General of Museums, said that the works to embellish the Ponce de León Museum consist of replacing the roof tiles in accordance to the original design, laying underground electrification of the exterior and interior of the building, refurbishing the bathrooms and the cultural gazebo. The surrounding gardens will also be embellished at a later date.
“The Juan Ponce de León Museum is one of the most important monuments of that period that exist in the eastern region, which may be visited by the people of Higüey, Bávaro, Punta Cana and the entire area. An ongoing program of cultural activities will be offered to involve the people of the community”, said Conde.
Visitors, from the moment of their arrival, will get to know part of the history of the conqueror Ponce de León, through a fountain that recreates the navigator’s search for eternal youth.
After its restoration in 1970, the historical monument, created with stones and masonry, was decorated with original furniture of the time. It is worth mentioning some of the pieces that stand on the outside: a spearhead dating back to colonial times, a masonry float, gold-plated rings for accessories, fragments of Talavera pottery, Spanish coins, nails, footboards, horseshoes, and other objects revealing the life of a family of the XVI century, etc. There is also a bronze head of Juan Ponce de León, a carved bed, a porcelain dish, a ceramic bottle, and a clay pot and a container.
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