Extraordinary Artifact: Given by Pope Pius IX to Emperor Maximilian of Mexico Goes on View at The Bryan Museum on February 16! The Bryan Museum and the Consulate General of Mexico are proud to host a lecture and reception for the unveiling of an extraordinary crucifix acquired by the Museum from the estate of former Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams. Ferdinand Maximilian, with his wife Carlota, received Pope Pius IX’s blessing along with the ivory and ebony crucifix in 1864 while en-route to Mexico where he would become Emperor Maximilian I, the first and only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire. Maximillian’s short-lived reign ended with his execution at the age of 45 in 1867. It is believed that he died holding the crucifix. Dr. Veronica Zarate, Professor for the Dr. José María Luis Mora Research Institute in Mexico City, will unravel the story of Napoleon III’s plan to establish a “friendly monarchy” in Mexico and what led to the downfall of Maximilian and the end of the French empire in Mexico.