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Young Woman of Amajac
Oct. 17, 2021
Mexico City's governor has confirmed that a statue of an indigenous woman will replace the capital's Christopher Columbus monument.
The Columbus statue was removed in October last year after indigenous rights activists threatened to tear it down.
A statue in honour of 'Women who fight' was placed by feminist collectives on the empty pedestal.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced on the Day of the Indigenous Woman, that it will be replaced by a replica of a pre-Columbian statue of an Indigenous woman known as the Young Woman of Amajac, to recognize the contributions of Mexico's native peoples.
She said that the Italian colonizer's legacy is seen through "two visions"; the Euro-Centric, and another that recognizes that civilizations existed in the Americas long before Columbus arrived. "We owe it to them and we exist because of them. It is the history of our country and our homeland."
The bronze Columbus statue was featured prominently on Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City's main avenue since the late 19th century. In October 2020, officials removed it from its pedestal for a scheduled restoration -- but they were also considering the legacy of the man it remembered, city officials said. This removal came in the wake of protesters toppling Columbus' statues in Latin America and the US.
Columbus, an Italian-born explorer who was financed by the Spanish crown to set sail on voyages of exploration in the late 15th Century, is seen by many as a symbol of oppression and colonialism as his arrival in America opened the door to the Spanish conquest.
This photo was released in January 2021 by Mexico's INAH showing the statue of a female figure recently unearthed in Hidalgo Amajac, in Alamo Temapache, Veracruz state, Mexico. To honor those pre-Columbus civilizations, sculptor Pedro Reyes will create a sculpture of an Olmec woman based on this ancient statue, about 3 times the size of the original. The Olmec people are thought to be one of the first major civilizations of what would become Mexico. "It's very important to dedicate a monument to indigenous women and to the Earth, because if anyone can teach us how to take care of this planet, it's our native peoples, and that is precisely what we must learn again," Reyes said in a statement, according to Mexican newspaper El Universal.