Declaration INBA

RESOLUTION number 658 declaring the Xilitla Sculpture Compound an artistic monument.

[The margin bears the national seal of Mexico and the legend Estados Unidos Mexicanos Secretaría de Educación Pública—the United Mexican States Ministry of Public Education]

JOSÉ ÁNGEL CÓRDOVA VILLALOBOS, Secretary of Public Education, by the authority of Article 38, section XXI, of the Organic Law for Public Administration; the 2nd, 5th, 33rd and 34th Articles of Federal Law on Archaeological, Artistic and Historic Monuments and Zones and the 9th Article of Federal Law Regulation on Archaeological, Artistic and Historic Monuments and Zones, and


That in compliance with the 2007-2012 National Development Plan, the Government of Mexico considers that strengthening our cultural and artistic manifestations is tantamount to strengthening Mexico itself, and for which reason it has been established that one line of priority action in its cultural policy will be support of such manifestations; and
That Mexico’s artistic heritage should be preserved and expanded to protect the tangible goods that constitute Mexico’s cultural riches; and
That the Xilitla Sculpture Compound is found on property located within the local entity known as “La Conchita,” within the municipal jurisdiction of Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, and occupies an 89,800.12-square-meter surface area within that property; and
That the Xilitla Sculpture Compound was constructed by Edward James between 1960 and 1984; and that its sculptures form part of an overall architecture and sculpture concept that—within its jungle context and because of the random layout of its construction—are a fundamental and inherent part of the site’s meaning, noteworthy for its mastery of scale, form and proportion as well as for its free and casual use of color, that allow the compound to become a sensorial space that materializes Edward James’s illusions and fantasies; and
That the compound can be considered part of the surrealist tradition, characterized by the creation of fantastic artistic elements that are discordant with reality and that seek simultaneously to express the reality of thought, free of aesthetic or coherent imperatives, aided only by imagination, sensations and perceptions that arise previous to the moment of creation; and
That this compound is noted for its use of artisanally made, wooden, botanical-form contours as well as its use of reinforced concrete (as apparent in its finishes) as petrified dreams within a natural garden that—via artistic creation—contributes significant characteristics to the site and is additionally a compound in which the natural environment and human creations constitute an exceptional cultural landscape; and
That between 1964 and 1967 the distinguished painter Leonora Carrington, of English origins, visited the property and left testimony in the form of a fresco mural 90 meters wide and 2.55 meters high whose imagery corresponds to a figure with feminoid human features and a zoomorphic head, one of the painter’s most representative works in Mexico because of its artistic characteristics that naturally integrate themselves into the site’s surrealist atmosphere, created by Edward James, who came to be a patron and inspiration of artists as noteworthy as Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst and René Magritte, among others; and
That the property where the Xilitla Sculpture Compound is located was acquired by the Fundación Pedro y Elena Hernández, A.C., by means of sales contracts under the aegis of Acts 72 and 73, both dated 28 May 2007, issued before Notary Public Three of the Eighth Judicial District of Tamazunchale, San Luis Potosí, and with special residency in Axtla de Terrazas, San Luis Potosí, inscribed in the Tancanhuitz, San Luis Potosí Public Property and Business Registry as entries 34 and 36, volume 38 bis, dated 30 July 2007; and
That the Mexican National Commission on Artistic Zones and Monuments, at its 15 April 2010 session, issued a favorable opinion that allowed the Xilitla Sculpture Compound to be declared an historical monument, and having acquired consent for as much from the owner of the property in which the abovementioned compound is located; and
That for the reasons here explained, it is considered that the abovementioned sculpture compound is vested with relevant artistic value, I am pleased to issue this


At Mexico City, on 23 November 2012. José Angel Córdova Villalobos.- [SIGNED].

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