As mentioned in a previous post, Mt. Rushmore and various wax museum sideshows commemorate and exploit the famous (and infamous) dead by selling merchandise, photographic opportunities, and popcorn.
During the years 1896 and 1958, a heavy taxation was imposed on inhabited burial sites. The taxation consisted of 20 pesos annually or 170 pesos for a definite burial. Much like the United States of today, Mexico was in financial disarray with no respite in the near or even distant future (this financial calamity continues today).
Because of the many families inability to pay for such upscale taxation, many of the interred dead were exhumed and subsequently set aside for movement into an ossuary (Don’t know what an ossuary is? Check out this great site with pictures to accompany on the Sedlec Ossuary). What happened next has never been scientifically established…although the reasoning behind the sacrilege act can come down to the universal outlook pertaining to money.
After 1958, the exhumation of corpses ceased and some were placed on display on what is known as Trozado Hill. The “sideshow” is a full-blown tourist destination (poised at Americans no less…in case you were wondering what “we” have to do with it.) with the aforementioned merchandise, photographs, etc available for purchase on site.
One may ponder as to the morality and human dignity of such atrocious displays. The conclusive fact is the pre-existing taxation levied upon the poor folks of Guanajuato was pretty much collected in full (with concurring interest) with the exhumation and displaying of their loved ones.
Some more killer images can be seen here: http://poetry.rotten.com/momias/