For the next few days, the Philippines will host heritage experts from the International Committee of Vernacular Architecture (CIAV) of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). To open the ICOMOS-CIAV Scientific Conference 2007, the ICOMOS National Committee Philippines hosted a gathering at the National Museum.
The local heritage community came in full force. Me and my tokayo Ivan ManDy had our photos taken with HCS President Gemma Cruz-Araneta (Miss International 1964) and Margie Moran (Miss Universe 1973) among many others.
Of course, we took the opportunity to request for a rare private viewing of guess what? Yes, we got the very rare chance to take our photos with Juan Luna's Spoliarium and other Luna and Hidalgo paintings under the strict guidance of a conservator.
The Spoliarium won the gold medal in the Exposicion General de Bellas Artes in Madrid in 1884. Another major painting on display is the Assassination of Governor Bustamante, a major and controversial mural of Felix Hidalgo showing friars murdering the governor. Also in the collection is Luna's La Bulakena, which is in line for declaration as a National Cultural Treasure.