The governor of Mexico City has confirmed that a statue of an indigenous lady will replace the capital’s Christopher Columbus monument.
As a result of threats from indigenous rights activists to demolish the statue, the Columbus statue was removed last year.
Claudia Sheinbaum stated that it will be replaced by a replica of a pre-Columbian statue, the Young Woman of Amajac, an indigenous figure.
Protesters have demolished the Columbus statues in Latin America and the United States.
Christopher Columbus, who was an Italian-born explorer was funded by the Spanish crown to set sail on exploratory expeditions in the late 15th century. He is a symbol of oppression and colonialism for indigenous communities and colonised countries all across the world, as his landing in America resulted in opening doors to Spanish conquest.
Ms Sheinbaum made her most recent announcement on October 12th, the anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of the Americas.
Columbus Day is widely observed in the United States. It is known as Da de la Raza in Mexico and other Latin American countries, meaning the ‘Day of the Race’ in Spanish. Many see it as a tribute to native resistance to European subjugation.
Ms Sheinbaum stated that she wished to make the alteration as a part of the ‘decolonization’ of the iconic Reforma Avenue, which currently has an empty plinth left there after the Columbus statue was removed due to protests.
She said that the new monument, which will be three times the size of the Columbus statue, was built in commemoration of the fact that ‘indigenous women had been the most oppressed’ during and after the colonial period.
In January, the genuine Young Woman of Amajac was unearthed in Veracruz. The sculpture is believed to be depicting a prominent female Huastec community member at the time of its creation. The original is currently housed in Mexico City’s Anthropology Museum, which will produce the copy.