Architect Finds Treasure Behind Manila Metropolitan Theater's Walls

Thank you, theater gods.


( It's been two years since the Metropolitan Theater started its renovations, but the 1931 structure still doesn't fail to surprise the architects, restoration groups, and volunteers with things hidden within its walls. On June 28, Dr. Gerard Lico, consulting architect of the project, and his team accidentally discovered the Art Deco bas-reliefs by Italian sculptor Francesco Riccardo Monti that everyone thought were completely destroyed.






The bas reliefs served as exquisite designs on the top part of the stage’s proscenium. They depict the muses of Music, Tragedy, Comedy, and Poetry—apt for the theater where the best of Philippine performing arts was once mounted. As it turns out, the missing reliefs were boarded up and covered behind the proscenium arch to give way for the air-conditioning ducts that were constructed during the theater's renovation in 1978.

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"The sequences of events today, I believe, were orchestrated by the spirit of the Metropolitan Theater who led us to this discovery," Lico wrote in a Facebook post. The extant pieces will be carefully restored along with the rest of the proscenium.


The Metropolitan Theater is at Antonio Villegas Street, Ermita, Manila. For more information, follow METamorphosis on Facebook.


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