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Arciniega was born in Burgos, Spain around 1520 and moved to the New World in the mid-16th century. While in Spain, he worked as a sculptor in Madrid and Alcalá de Henares. After moving to what is now Mexico, he worked on different architectural projects, including building a viceroy's palace from the remains of Montezuma's home and designing the first building for Mexico City's university. He worked on the Mexico City Cathedral until his death.