Saltillo Antiques Show in Danger of Losing Backing
"They are going to extend the show an extra day? How can they do that? Doesn't anyone here have prior commitments?" Our American friend was incredulous, apparently things like that just don't happen in the U.S. The organizers of the Fifth National Antiques Show in Saltillo, Coahuila had decided to tack on an extra day-- which they announced on what everyone had thought was the afternoon of closing day. Hey, time has a different meaning south of the border.
The Saltillo show, which celebrated its fifth anniversary in September, is this country's oldest annual antiques event. Organized by the Coahuila branch of the government sponsored organization DIF in 1994, the five day (well, six days in this instance) festival faces a questionable future as the state prepares to elect a new administration. The show organizers, all of whom are government functionaries, will step down from the event at the end of Governor Montemayor's term later this month. Whether the new administration will continue to sponsor the Muestra, or if it will fall into the hands of the private sector, is uncertain at this point.
This yearly event has played a key role in setting the tone for the development of other antiques shows in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon; Guadalajara, Jalisco and in the nation's capital city (see El antiQuario Vol. 1, No. 5 for more information on the Mexican antiques circuit). All of these shows have a decidedly Mexican flair, a festive feel unlike any encountered in the more northern parts of the Americas.
Promoters offer transportation of merchandise from participant's galleries in distant cities to the show site, a lavish "inauguration" dinner is the norm and tight 24-hour security-- which includes verifying that items going out the door were indeed paid for-- set the mood. The overall ambience one is of camaraderie, of pioneers trekking through unchartered territories.
El antiQuario extends its sincere admiration to the pacesetters of this succession. We encourage any of our readers who wish to see the Saltillo Antiques Show continue to contact either the new Coahuila administration or our publication. It is up to all of us to keep the doors of greater awareness and accessibility to this country's rich heritage open for all to enjoy.