Beauty Gonzalez Criticized For Wearing Excavated Gold Jewelry From “Desecrated Graves”

An art critic called out Beauty for wearing “grave robber stuff”

Beauty Gonzalez recently found herself in the midst of controversy after wearing excavated gold jewelry from “desecrated graves” at the GMA Gala 2023 event.

The public outcry stemmed from concerns regarding cultural sensitivity, ethical archaeological practices, and the respect owed to sacred burial sites.

The actress posted photos of her ensemble on Instagram and wrote in her caption that her look was “an appreciation for Philippine Ancestral Gold.”

Beauty pointed out: “My Centuries old Gold Neck Piece and Earrings are Excavated Eye and Mouth Covers from distant places like Butuan and Surigao, beautifully reworked in this modern setting by my favorite Jeweler [Erica Concepcion Reyes of Riqueza Fine Jewellery].”

Beauty Gonzalez
IMAGE @beauty_gonzalez on Instagram

Beauty wore a delicate golden string necklace adorned with around 10 to 15 oval-shaped gold pieces with intricate jagged slits in the middle. Meanwhile, Beauty’s earrings featured eye-shaped gold plates.

These historical artifacts were cut and hammered from sheets of gold in order to cover the eyes and mouths of wealthy natives in the past. These excavated eye and mouth covers serve as reminders of our deceased ancestors and their ancient rituals.

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Art critic calls out Beauty Gonzalez

Art critic and Manila-based curator Marian Pastor Roces called out Beauty for wearing “grave robber stuff.”

Marian wrote on Facebook: “Someone tell this woman that the orifice covers she is paying ‘homage’ to are grave robber stuff. Because if these were legally excavated, the pieces would belong to the National Museum or the Bangko Sentral.

“Or, if the pieces were excavated decades ago and therefore privately owned by sensible collectors before current restrictions, the question still remains: why death masks as necklace?

“Sure, the owners have been dead for a thousand years. BUT.

“This fashion victim is wearing mouth and eye covers: around 10 of them. Which is to say that the necklace was fashioned from excavations of many individuals. That is an astounding number of desecrated graves!

“How on earth is this an homage, exhibiting impunity and crassness? Wearing archaeological gold death pieces, flaunting excess, is odious.”

Beauty’s choice of gold jewelry has sparked outrage due to its alleged connection to activities involving the desecration of gravesites.

Also known as orifice covers, these gold pieces from the 10th to the 13th century were used in ancient funerary rites.

The pieces in question are said to have been acquired through unscrupulous means, including excavations conducted at historical sites.

The concern stems from the fact that these practices not only disrespect the deceased but also erode the cultural heritage of the Philippines.

At press time, Beauty or Riqueza Fine Jewellery has not issued any statement regarding the issue.

Banner Art Paulo Correa

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