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Macau exhibit features Cebu's 'famous Magellan's cross'

August 25, 2011 4:11pm

The famous Cross of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, a landmark in Cebu province in the Philippines, is featured in an ongoing exhibit by a Portuguese foundation in Macau, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Wednesday.

Magellan, who claimed the Philippine islands for the Spanish crown in the 1500s, is one of the subjects of the exhibit at Instituto Para os Assuntos Civicos e Municipais (IACM) exhibition hall.

"The exhibit provides interesting facts about the Magellan's cross, considered as Cebu's most famous landmark," the DFA said in a news release.

"According to the exhibit's write-up on the structure, it was the Augustinian fathers who first built a memorial at the site where Magellan first landed and erected a wooden cross," the DFA added.

The organizer of the exhibit was Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, an institution dedicated to promoting the Portuguese language and culture throughout the world.

In 1521, Magellan erected a cross to mark his arrival upon landing in Cebu.

In 1834, a protective enclosure around the memorial was built. The DFA said the protective structure seeks to prevent people from taking fragments of the wooden cross which they believed to possess miraculous power.

The ceiling was decorated after 1950 with paintings depicting the placement of the cross by Magellan.

The paintings also depicted the celebration of the first Mass, as well as the baptism of Rajah Humabon's family and some of their subjects.

"The monument was restored in 2006 with funding from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, effectively putting Cebu among the 21 places all over the world where the Portuguese have left their mark," the DFA said. - VVP, GMA News
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