Mexican authorities confirmed Monday that a statue of the navigator Christopher Columbus located in Mexico City will be replaced by that of an indigenous woman, a few days before the 200th anniversary of the country’s independence from Spain. “The sculpture will be moved to a safe, dignified and adequate place,” said the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in a statement.
We inform that the Sculptural Complex of Christopher Columbus, after being removed in 2020 from the Paseo de la Reforma, has been in the care of personnel specialized in conservation and restoration matters.
Communicated in #PrensaINAH: https://t.co/bcqjVDO6uZ pic.twitter.com/MMjXLU2xhQ
– INAHmx (@INAHmx) September 7, 2021
In its place will be placed a sculpture of an “Olmec woman” by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes, the capital’s mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, said on Sunday at a public event that coincided with International Women’s Day. indigenous. “It is precisely the indigenous women who have perhaps carried the greatest weight in Mexican history and who have received the least recognition,” she said.
In place since 1877
The statue of Christopher Columbus, who is credited with discovering America under the patronage of the Spanish Crown, was placed in a roundabout on the central avenue Paseo de la Reforma in 1877, very close to the ruins from the Templo Mayor, the heart of Aztec civilization. The authorities withdrew it in October 2020 so that it could be “taken care of by personnel specialized in conservation and restoration”.
But it will not be delivered to the same place and will be sent to another district of the capital in order to avoid “the risks for this piece of important artistic and historical value”, declared the INAH. The removal of the statue indeed came shortly after the broadcast of a call on social networks to bring it down, in “tribute to the millions of natives and descendants of Africans massacred” after the discovery of America. , according to campaign organizers. The statue of Christopher Columbus, as well as the monument of the Angel of Independence, were also marked with protest graffiti during feminist marches.