Columbus Statue In Mexico City To Be Replaced By Young Pre-Hispanic Woman

Photo 80519564 © Demerzel21 |

A regular subject of graffiti protests, a Christopher Columbus statue on Mexico City’s famous Reforma boulevard is slated to be replaced with a replica of a pre-Hispanic sculpture. The symbolic decision denounces brutal colonization and finds a podium for the underrepresented Indigenous peoples.

In the monument’s place will be an elusive sculpture of an Indigenous woman in a blouse, skirt, and jewelry. Her identity is unknown; the National Institute of Anthropology and History, where the statue is displayed, deduces that she could be a depiction of a fertility goddess, while archaeologists speculate that she was a member of the elite.

The original ‘Young Woman of Amajac’, discovered in January. Image via María Eugenia Maldonado Vite / National Institute of Anthropology and History

What’s apt is that investigators date her creation to the postclassic period (between 1450 and 1521), around the time Columbus arrived in the Americas.

The pre-Hispanic limestone artwork was discovered in the Huasteca region, near the Gulf coast, only in January. It’s been given the name of the Young Woman of Amajac, after the village it was excavated from.

It’s worth mentioning that this sculpture looks completely different from the Columbus statue and existing Indigenous artworks on Reforma boulevard, which all feature a neo-classical aesthetic. The Young Woman of Amajac, created centuries before, has hollowed-out eyes where stones could have been.

According to the Guardian, the replica could be as tall as three times the height of original six-foot sculpture. It will stand on the original neo-classical base once dominated by the Columbus work.

As for the Columbus statue, officials have decided to relocate it to a less visible space.

[via The Guardian, images via various sources]

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