Masks, Hair and Memories: Museums of Mexican Wrestling and Collectibles in Tijuana – El Sol de Tijuana
Tijuana: The Museum of Mexican Wrestling (Mullme), and the Collector’s Museum of Tijuana, have shared the same space on Seventh Street in the downtown area for six years, and today they display nearly 20,000 pieces.
The three-story building welcomes visitors with a model of a Tijuana racetrack under a glass floor: it’s just as welcome on a ride full of memories.
At the bottom is the collector’s museum containing 12,900 objects among “tazos”, which are bundles of matches that reflect the advertising techniques of those times, trains, figures of superheroes, dolls, video games, cameras, video and bottles , and typewriters. And countless games old and new.
On the second level, the journey continues with a large exhibition of objects related to wrestling: masks, hair of gladiators lost in battle, stockings, cloaks and shoes, many of these items donated by the gladiators themselves.
This space has become a tourist attraction in the city, receiving more than 32,000 visitors with paid tickets, as well as multiple compliments, 70% of these visits were from people from Australia, Europe, South America, the United States and more. .
Zurrel Leon, who is in charge of the space, says that unlike the exhibition of objects, the museum aims to take its visitors on a journey through history and remember the moments they lived.
“People come to see their childhood or part of their youth in it (things), and they leave very happy. It surprises me when the blues hit them hard, and they start crying because they remember something,” he said.
He added that visitors regularly call a family member, friend or neighbor to ask if they remember any items they find in the museum and if they had a relationship with them in the past.
“I dare say that three out of ten visitors call a relative to ask: Do you remember this piece?” Zurell Lyon said:
He pointed out that the museum is in constant motion, because in addition to the permanent collections, they are constantly receiving guests, as is currently the case with the collection of the Star Wars saga, and it usually lasts between six to eight months.
Among the groups that were invited, he said, they had one from Super Bowl, another from Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres, another from the famous Coca-Cola soft drink, and other trophies from racetracks from around the world, among others.
“Tijuana collectors have offered support, but we are waiting to see who says: I want to show what is mine,” he stressed.
In 2007, Zurrel said, Miguel Ángel Pérez had a collection related to wrestling and gathered collectors from Tijuana to propose a museum where they could display their pieces.
That year they held an exhibition at the Municipal Palace that marked the beginning of a 10-year journey until in April 2017 they opened the Museum of Mexican Wrestling (Mullme) and the Tijuana Collector’s Museum.
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All participants were united by a taste and hobby: wrestling.
“I think that out of 10 Mexicans, nine watch soccer, but 10 out of 10 experienced some wrestling in their childhood, whether they were watching it with their grandfather, or a movie, or a fight, or playing with masks, or playing with little monkeys,” she stated.
The Mexican wrestling section on the second floor of the building contains over 6,900 items including masks and 680 figures representing the same number of wrestlers; Hair loss by professional wrestlers in a tijuana auditorium and projector functions for films related to the subject.
As an added attraction, there is a loop that visitors can climb to take their photo ops.
No less than 480 wrestlers visited the space and most of them cooperated by handing out clothes, as happened with “Súper Muñeco”, “El Matemático” and “Negro Casas”, who left a pair of shoes and socks, Zaurel León said.
It has also been visited by figures from the artistic milieu who are fans of wrestling, such as Julión Alvarez, who has even returned on several occasions.
Currently, its promoters are adapting the third floor to expand the Museum of La Lucha Libre, which no longer has enough space to receive and display more objects.
The museum also offers exclusive tours for groups of over 19 people, opening the doors exclusively on a weekday closed to the general public, with prior approval.
Zaurel León lamented that only 30% of visitors are from Tijuana, so he invited the locals to visit the museum and live an experience that will lead them to remember the emotional moments of their lives.
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