Art is the new buzz word in Mexico City.

Don’t just think ‘beach’ when you think of Mexico. Its giant capital, with a population of 20 million, is reinventing itself as an important cultural Hispanic hub, hoping to dispel its image as a town plagued by crime and pollution.

The Mexican capital is fast becoming an interesting mix of pre-Hispanic, colonial and contemporary cultural attractions, helped by a considerable recent cash injection.

The pre-Hispanic ruins of Templo Mayor, believed by the Aztecs to be the centre of the universe, are still a must, along with the impressive National Anthropology Museum (rated one of the world’s top ten) in the Bosque de Chapultepec park. The park is also home to the Modern Art Museum containing works by renowned 20th-century Mexican artists such as Frida Kahlo.

Mexico City’s most recent and spectacular addition is the free art museum in the north of the city, the Museo Soumaya, named after the late wife of the world’s richest man, Mexican Telecom’s owner Carlos Slim, whose private collection is on display.

If you’re planning a trip there, you’ll be able to view works by European greats such as Picasso, Rubens, Rodin, Van Gogh, Monet, Titian, Leonardo etc., along with unusual Mexican pieces. The avant-garde building (pictured) is affectionately known as ‘the corset’ because of its form. In contrast, you can visit the new tequila and mescal museum in Plaza Garibaldi, and the remodelled Museo Nacional de la Revolución. Enjoy!

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