The U.S. Embassy will donate $500,000 to help conserve the tomb of king Pakal and other structures at the Mayan ruin site of Palenque, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History said Monday.
The tomb is known for Pakal’s magnificent carved sarcophagus. It was built in Palenque’s Temple of Inscriptions sometime after 683 B.C. and was discovered around 1952.
Since then, the tomb’s stucco decorations have been damaged by humidity, and there are structural issues with that temple and others at Palenque.
The institute said the embassy will provide the money over three years to conduct studies about how to keep the structures sound and free of humidity.
The tomb has been closed to the public for years for conservation. It is unclear if it will ever be opened again.