Turquoise trauma in Tenochtitlan
Poor Monte, he had it all, but he didn’t stand a chance in the end. Moctezuma II (as he is called in this exhibition) was born in 1466 and became the ninth ruler of Tenochtitlan, the seat of power for the Aztecs. However, he was also the final emperor of the Aztec people, as he was dethroned by the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire. This is the story told in beautiful detail by the Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler exhibition at the British Museum in London.
With many authentic relics from the time, including a vivid turquoise mask, as well as a detailed and somewhat gory recreation of Tenochtitlan, the Moctezuma 2 exhibition is a lot of fun. There’s plenty of information to take in as well as the story unfolds while you weave your way around the stunning imagery and artefacts on display. Divine sacrificial rituals intermingle with bad Aztec omens and trickery by the Spanish invaders.
Finally, there’s also some class post exhibition tat to buy in the shop. The imitation mask is a particular winner with the ladies.
However, despite all of the good points, my afternoon was skewed by the presence of what looked like a business meeting. They were clutched in huddles talking about meetings and deals. Completely ignoring the excellent work the British Museum had done. They were like bipedal toads in suits lumbering around, scrambling over each other, blocking off parts of the exhibition and croaking out their pointless calls to one another. If a museum is going to put on such a stunning exhibition, then they should be more picky over who they let in. If there’s a large group of bored looking men in uniform black suits shuffling around the entrance talking about the Fisher account, or some other bullsh*t, then just… say… no!
The Moctezuma (Montezuma) Exhibition at the British Museum review: 3.8/5