During some restoration work carried out in the church of San Francisco de Asís, in the Peruvian city of Maras, about 25 kilometers from Cuzco, has been found a crypt with skeletal remains and the original murals dating back to the 16th century, which were covered with more current works of art in the seventeenth century.
Faced with this finding, experts from the Culture of Cuzco, a government organization that has the task of managing the cultural heritage of the region, got down to work to study the crypt found under the Virgin of Capilla de las Nieves.
It has been found inside a large number of human bones, which seem to belong to some 32 people buried during the early days of the church. The remains are disarticulated and femurs, tibiae and different bones can be found in no order, possibly due to some desecration, of which there is evidence in previous periods of history.
This church It was built in the year 155622 years after the conquest of Peru, being the same year in which the city was founded by the Spanish general Pedro Ortiz de Ouebe. The temple was created in a colonial style, with adobe walls with a masonry base and a tile roof.
Since then, many years have passed and this construction has gone through different stages in which it was gradually restored, although not as deeply as it was planned to do now, when the discovery was made.
During the restoration, different paintings were removed from the presbytery wall attributed to Antonio Sinchi Roca, considered one of the most prominent and prolific artists of what is known as Cusco School.
Under the paintings, the Roca researchers they found a large mural made up of several panels with a representation of the Virgin Mary, something that was hidden until about a century after it was done. Another mural was also found on the wall of the central nave, this one has more abstract geometric and zoomorphic motifs.
What has been discovered is that the murals belong to a stage prior to the Cusco School and possibly it would have been created by Spanish artists who were sent to found a school that taught Quechuas and mestizos to paint religious art in the purest European style, but what is clear is that these are works of great pictorial value.
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