Statue of Indigenous woman to replace Columbus statue in Mexico City

Statue of Indigenous woman to replace Columbus statue in Mexico City

Christopher Columbus

Mexico City has confirmed a statue of an Indigenous woman will replace a statue of Christopher Columbus located on the city’s main boulevard.

Mayor of Mexico City Claudia Sheinbaum made the announcement on Tuesday, after the statue of Columbus was removed last year.

The statue of the Indigenous woman is a replica of a pre-colonial statue known as the Young Woman of Amajac.  The decision to replace Columbus’ statue with an Indigenous woman has touched on the cultural tensions in Mexico, surrounding race, colonialism, and gender equality.

In a news conference, Sheinbaum, who is the first woman elected to the position of mayor in Mexico City, said the statue represents “the fight of women, particularly the Indigenous ones, in Mexican history”. She said the Columbus statue should be replaced by an Indigenous woman because of their continued underrepresentation.

Last year, the Columbus statue was removed, supposedly for restoration, shortly before the anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. Prior to its removal, it had often been targeted with graffiti by protestors.

Mexico City’s Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum. Source: Shutterstock.

The original Young Woman of Armajac statue was unearthed in January this year in the Huasteca region of Mexico. The replica, which will replace the Columbus statue, is going to be about three times the size of the original six-foot Young Woman of Armajac. The original statue can be seen on display at the National Museum of Anthropology.

It has been announced that the statue of Columbus will be resituated in a park in another area of Mexico City.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, who worked as an energy engineer before politics, is widely expected to run for president in 2024.

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