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February 15, 2019

Neglect, rain threatening ‘Sistine Chapel of the Andes'

Associated Press

CURAHUARA DE CARANGAS, Bolivia — A buttress supporting an adobe wall has collapsed and grass overgrows the patio of the four-century-old church whose dazzling murals depicting biblical scenes and remote location high atop a Bolivian plateau have earned it the nickname the “Sistine Chapel of the Andes.”

Abandonment and heavy rains are threatening one of the continent's oldest churches in Curahuara de Carangas, an impoverished Aymara town in Oruro province that saw many of its residents migrate to bigger cities in past decades, a flow that disrupted the traditional, communal system for maintaining the church.

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