Mexico City has confirmed that a statue of an indigenous woman will replace a statue of Christopher Columbus located on the city’s main boulevard.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum made the announcement Tuesday, after the Columbus statue was removed last year.
The Native Woman Statue is a replica of a pre-colonial statue known as the Young Woman of Amajac. The decision to replace the Columbus statue with an indigenous woman touched on cultural tensions in Mexico, surrounding race, colonialism and gender equality.
At a press conference, Sheinbaum, who is the first woman elected as mayor of Mexico City, said the statue represents “the struggle of women, especially indigenous women, in Mexican history.” She said the Columbus statue should be replaced with an Indigenous woman due to their continued under-representation.
Last year, the statue of Christopher Columbus was removed, supposedly for restoration, shortly before the anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. Prior to his abduction, he had often been the target of graffiti by protesters.
The original statue of the young woman from Armajac was unearthed in January this year in the Huasteca region of Mexico. The replica, which will replace the statue of Christopher Columbus, will be about three times larger than the original six-foot Young Woman of Armajac. The original statue can be seen at the National Museum of Anthropology.
It was announced that the statue of Christopher Columbus would be relocated to a park in another district of Mexico City.
Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, who worked as an energy engineer before politics, is widely expected to run for president in 2024.