Clipped From Albuquerque Journal
Duke of Alburquerque To Visit City His Family Namesake By RICHARD BEER Journal Staff Writer The Duke of Alburquerque himself Don Beltran Osorio Diez de Rivera Martos y Figueroa will be in the "Duke City" next month for the opening of the Albuquerque Museum's major new exhibit on local history. Museum director James Moore said Tuesday the duke was invited not only because the city was named in honor of one of his ancestors, but also because a tapestry presented to the city by him 27 years ago will be a key part of the exhibition. "Since it was his gift we felt he should be a principal guest at the exhibit," Moore said. No specific itinerary for the 65-year-old 65-year-old 65-year-old 65-year-old 65-year-old Don Beltran has been worked out yet, other than attend ante at the exhibit's gala, invitation-only invitation-only invitation-only opening on the evening of June 24. But Moore said, "He's a quite a horseman," so he is likely to visit some local horse breeders. The museum exhibit opens to the public June 25. The duke's previous visit to Albuquerque was in July 1956, when he presented the ancient tapestry, or repostero, to the city in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of its founding. The 12-foot 12-foot 12-foot square repostero was one of dozens made in Sicily around 1620, for the house of Alburquerque, and is the only one the family has given away. After deteriorating somewhat over the years, it was restored by the Textile Conservation Workshop, in South Salem, N.Y., and returned here. "It's almost a priceless piece of work," said Mayor Harry Kinney. Both Moore and Kinney said at a news conference that the duke's presence for the opening will be yet another boost for the exhibit, which they expect will attract nationwide attention. It will trace the past 400 years of local history, with a particular emphasis on the era of Spanish conquest. Moore said the exhibit will include the only set of 16th century Spanish horse armor in North America. "There is virtually no museum exhibit m the country that is this complete on the Spanish Southwest," Southwest," Moore said "It has some national significance." significance." "The exhibit is really the dream that founded the museum years ago," although the museum will have been opened nearly four years by the time the exhibit opens. "It has taken a long time to do this," Moore said. Money to assemble the exhibit came from voter-approved voter-approved voter-approved bond issues in 1975, 1979 and 1981. The duke's title goes back to the 15th century, when it was granted to one of his ancestors by the Spanish royal family, for service to the crown. The city of Albuquerque was named in 1706, in honor of the eighth Duke of Alburquerque, who at the time was Spain's viceroy to Mexico. Somewhere along the line, in the 19th century, the first "r" in the duke's family name was dropped from the spelling of the city's name, accounting for the difference between the two spellings.