This is a ceramic/clay Roman theatrical mask. I presume it's meant to show the wearer is a bit grumpy or disdainful.
It was/is on display at the National Museum of Roman Art (Museo Nacional de Arte Romano), I think on the ground floor not far from the entrance, where there are a lot of artefacts relating to the theatre.
In case you didn't see yesterday's picture and the commentary, Mérida contains 29 UNESCO World Heritage sites listed, in 1993, as the "Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida" The Museum is listed as number 20.
Mérida was ...
Founded by legionaries of Augustus in 24 B.C., Mérida became the most important Roman city in Spain by the fall of the empire. Almost completely destroyed after the Muslim invasion, it began to recover under Arab rule. It has endured through the centuries, and today is a modest rural town in the province of Extremadura.
... to build a museum that would offer people an opportunity to understand aspects of the town's Roman heritage. Without falling into a strict imitation of Roman architecture, Moneo adopted the Roman construction system - massive masonry-bearing walls filled with concrete. Other Roman building techniques, materials, and proportions were utilized as well, and prominence was given to construction as an expression of architecture itself. The materiality of the Roman brick wall becomes, finally, the most important feature in the architecture of the museum.
The main exhibition hall is traversed by a series of parallel walls that have been opened with towering arches. The perspective view through the arches reveals the scale of the building and expresses the continuity of the space therein. These walls also define lateral bays for the display of some of the most valuable pieces in the museum's collection. The walls function as partitions, on which are hung cornices, capitals, mosaics, and fragments of statuary. These surfaces are not considered to be mere neutral supports for the objects; rather, the translucent white marble of the relics may be seen in a dialectical interplay with the material presence of the brick walls. Natural light, another fundamental concern in the museum's design, enters through skylights above and windows set high in the facades. The constantly changing intensity and color of the light contributes to the dialogue between the works of art and the building itself.
If you'd like to know more about this amazing Museum and some of its' priceless and awe-inspiring exhibits please take a look the text accompanying other pictures I've uploaded, they can be found - here -.
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