Mexico City to Replace Christopher Columbus Statue with One of Indigenous Woman

Mexico City will replace a 19th-century statue of Italian colonizer Christopher Columbus situated on one of the main avenues with one of an indigenous woman, the mayor announced last Sept. 5.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said during a ceremony marking the Day of the Indigenous Woman that a statue of an Olmec woman will replace the bronze Columbus statue at the Paseo de la Reforma boulevard.

The Olmec people is thought to be the first major civilization in Mexico before Columbus arrived.

Sheinbaum said that the 150-year-old Columbus statue will be relocated to a park not to “be hidden away” or to “erase history,” but to deliver “social justice” regarding the historic role of indigenous women in Mexico.

According to Sheinbaum, Columbus’ legacy is seen through “two visions,” one of which was the Eurocentric view of the “discovery of America” that paved the way to the Spanish conquest while the other recognizes the civilizations that had existed for centuries long before the arrival of the colonizer.

“We owe it to them and we exist because of them. It is the history of our country and our homeland,” Sheinbaum said of Mexico’s Indigenous peoples, according to CNN.

Sheinbaum said that sculptor Pedro Reyes will create the statue of an Olmec woman.

“It is 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 is our native peoples and that is precisely what we must learn again,” Reyes said, according to Mexican newspaper El Universal.

Officials removed the Columbus statue from its plinth last October 10, two days before planned protests marking the arrival of Columbus.

The statue is seen by many as a symbol of oppression and colonialism.

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