Arts & Entertainment

Mexican feminists erect figure of woman where Columbus statue once stood

Mexico City, Sep 25 (EFE).- Feminists gathered here Saturday at the site that until a year ago was occupied by a statue of Christopher Columbus to erect a female figure in honor of Mexican women’s struggles against injustice.

“From now on this place is the Roundabout of the Women who Fight and will be dedicated to those women across the country who have confronted violence, repression and re-victimization,” the activists said in a statement.

Hooded women climbed atop the pedestal in the center of a roundabout on Mexico City’s Paseo de la Reforma to install the figure of a woman with a raised fist.

The female figure joins the burgeoning list of “anti-monuments” put up in recent years at various spots in the capital by ordinary citizens to commemorate events such as the massacre of protesters on the eve of Olympics in October 1968 and the 2014 abduction of 43 students in the southern state of Guerrero.

The Mexico City government took down Charles Cordier’s 19th-century statue of Columbus about a year ago, just days before a planned march to the site by activists who vowed to remove the monument.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said recently that the city had commissioned sculptor Pedro Reyes to create a figure of an indigenous woman to replace the Columbus statue.

But in response to criticism of the decision to award the commission to a non-indigenous man, the mayor reversed course and named a committee to take charge of the project.

Under leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexico is observing this year’s 500th anniversary of the arrival of Spanish conquistadors with an emphasis on “indigenous resistance” to colonialism. EFE er/dr

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