Yucatan Government Buys Chichen Itza
The archaeological site of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan state in Mexico draws tourists from around the world each year. Recently the Yucatan government made a big purchase, buying the 205 private acres of the Chichen Itza zone for $17.6 million. The land was owned by businessman Hans Jurgen Thies Barbachano. While the ruins of Chichen Itza are federal property the land under the monuments had been privately owned for hundreds of years. The transaction puts and end to years of bickering over the site.According to an article on American Egypt, the previous owner, Fernando Barbachano Gomez Rul (grandfather of the current owner) had to take the battle to court in the early 200s after the state began withholding money from the sale of tickets into the site. In 2004 the federal courts ruled that Chichen Itza was private property. There have been disputes over the rights to sell merchandise to tourists on the site and vendors had been asking the government to buy the land. The site is home to many beautiful Mayan buildings, some of which have been restored. Chichen Itza is a a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second-most visited of Mexico's archaeological sites. Chichen Itza's El Castillo was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World after a worldwide vote in 2007.