via Inquirer, 19 January 2020: A team from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines rescued artefacts from two museums in Taal.
Threats of a catastrophe should Taal Volcano fully erupt reminded many of the destruction caused by Mt. Pinatubo in Zambales when it erupted in June 1991. Aside from the heavy toll on human life and property, Pinatubo buried precious artifacts and heirloom pieces under rivers of rushing lahar.
This was foremost on the minds of members of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), which formed a team from its Materials Research Conservation Division on Jan. 16 to retrieve important pieces from two museums in the heritage town of Taal.
The team of seven, led by the division’s officer in charge Rommel Aquino, went to Taal in two vehicles, so they could split up and secure items simultaneously from the Museo nina Leon at Galicano Apacible and the Museo nina Marcela Marino at Felipe Agoncillo.
“We had updated lists identifying which items were in each location. So even before we arrived, we already knew what to head straight for,” Aquino told Lifestyle in a phone interview.
“We prioritized them based on historicity and monetary value, and were able to gather around 40 objects from the two museums.”
After three hours, the precious haul included precolonial jewelry as well as five paintings by Amorsolo.
- Heritage conservators rescue artifacts from Taal town museums | ABS-CBN News, 23 Jan 2020
- Museums ‘put to sleep,’ churches closed amid volcano’s unrest | Inquirer, 24 Jan 2020