Modern artists in metal take their cue from the Diquis culture

The Museo Nacional inaugurates tonight a seven-week exposition of metalwork inspired by the Diquís culture of the southern Pacific.

The works come from six artists who call themselves the Colectivo ¿Por qué No?, meaning that everything is possible.

The Diquís region is the home of those enigmatic pre-Columbian stone spheres. But the ancient culture also had its fine metalworkers, according to the museum, which maintains a vast collection.

The exposition will be inaugurated this evening at 7 p.m. and runs until Oct. 31 in the museum’s temporary gallery.

The display is timely because the Diquís culture and the spheres have just been declared part of the world’s heritage by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Museum staffers avow that the objects in the display have been inspired by the personal contact by the artists with the land, the natural riches, the archaeological artifacts and the symbolism of the ancient culture.

The collective includes five Costa Ricans and a Columbian.

The spheres themselves continue to be a mystery. They range from football size to two meters in diameter. An academic expert on hydraulics consulted by A.M. Costa Rica earlier this year said that he doubts the large balls could have been made using fast-flowing

river water. Most archaeologists think the sphere were made by individuals who simply pecked at the stone with a smaller rock.

Because some of the balls were found in association with the remains of dwellings, Museo Nacional archaeologists have said they think the balls were status symbols.

The museum has opened up a museum as an additional attraction for the four sites named as the world’s heritage. They are Finca 6, Batambal, El Silencio and Grijalba-2, all in the Cantón de Osa.

Some examples of the works inspired by the spheres.

Some examples of the works inspired by the spheres.

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