The Bryan Museum and Mexico’s Consulate in Houston will co-present a special preview reception to celebrate the acquisition of a truly legendary artifact: an ebony, ivory, and gold crucifix, connecting European royalty, America, Mexico, France, and the Vatican. The 15” crucifix was gifted by Pope Pius IX to Austrian Prince Ferdinand Maximilian. Maximilian visited the Pope to receive a blessing and the crucifix before becoming His Imperial Majesty, The Emperor of Mexico in 1864.
Mexico’s Consulate in Houston has generously arranged for a history professor from Mexico City, Dr. Verónica Zárate Toscano, Ph.D., to join us for the preview reception. Dr. Toscano will discuss the period surrounding Emperor Napoleon III of France’s invasion of Mexico. Maximilian’s brief and naïve rule ended after the French withdrew military and financial support in 1867. Although Napoleon III urged him to abandon Mexico and return to Europe, Maximilian refused to desert his loyal followers. Later that year, the 34-year-old Emperor was captured, court-martialed, and executed by Benito Juárez’s army. The crucifix was in Maximilian’s possession until his death.
This is the first time the artifact has ever been on public display. It was acquired from the estate of former Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams.
Tickets are limited for this special preview reception.