Officials of a planned Mexican American heritage cultural center are scrambling to do damage control after receiving criticism about their excavation of skeletal remains from a 19th century cemetery.
The fragile bones of dozens of bodies were recently found buried beneath a planned outdoor space and garden at the future site of La Plaza de Cultura y Artes.
Native American groups, archaeologists and the Los Angeles Archdiocese have voiced concerns over the removal of what may be the remains of the city’s first cemetery.
Early settlers of Spanish, Native American and Mexican descent were buried in the Catholic cemetery south of La Placita Church before it was officially closed in 1844. According to Catholic Church records, the bodies were moved and reinterred elsewhere.
On Sunday, some who claimed to be descendants of those buried at the site gathered there for a vigil and called for at least a temporary stop to the construction.
“Our excavation has not ceased,” La Plaza spokeswoman Katie Dunham said Tuesday. “We’re setting up several meetings Friday with people who have expressed concerns.”
Read the entire article: Skeletal remains found near Olvera Street prompt calls for construction halt