Colombia removes the statues of Columbus and Isabel la Católica

The Duque Government urges “to open a dialogue and a reflection on the meaning and value of the cultural heritage” of the Latin American country

Transfer of the statue of Isabel la Catlica in Bogota, this Friday.EFE

They will no longer receive travelers arriving at the El Dorado international airport. They tore Isabel la Catlica and Cristbal Coln from their pedestals and took them off the avenue that bears the same name from the Bogota air terminal. The Ministry of Culture, in a silent maneuver, carried out around 5 am this Friday (noon in the Peninsula) to avoid problems, transferred to another place the discoverer of America and the queen who created the Laws of the Indies, who intends to grant rights to the natives, an advance for the time.

“With the objective of open a dialog Through which it is invited to reflect on the meaning and value of the Cultural Heritage, MinCultura carried out the dismantling of the sculptures of the Monument to Isabel la Catlica and Cristbal Coln “, read the trill sent by the Ministry of Culture of Colombia to explain its decision.

The measure was also adopted to safeguard them in the midst of the general strike that has been going on for forty-six days and has been very violent. In addition, three days ago, a small group of Misak Indians, who had come from the department of Cauca to Bogotá, to join the national strike, had already tried to tear them down. During that same day the monuments were painted red in an act of vandalism.

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They managed to tie some ropes to Columbus’s head, but the swift intervention of the National Police prevented them from achieving their purpose. On May 8, they did the same with the statue of Sebastin Jimnez de Quesada, founder of Bogota, located in the plaza of the Universidad del Rosario, in the center of the capital. On that occasion they threw her down, just as happened days before that date with Sebastin de Belalczar, the Cordoba who founded Popayn, capital of Cauca.

“From this momentthey will not have in Bogotaa is rapist, to this supposed conqueror “,They said that day, in a recording they spread on social networks.

“The fact that the State is not even capable of safeguarding the cultural heritage is a surrender to the violent people who want to subdue a majority of Colombians who are not with them,” the Congressman for Bogot, Gabriel, told EL MUNDO. Santos, from the government Democratic Center. “What you have to do is educate people, know where we come from, What influences do we have? We cannot make a historical revisionism every moment and try to impose ideological and Human Rights biases of the 21st century on events that occurred five hundred years ago. “

Those of Queen Isabel and Columbus are one of the few quality statues that Bogota had, a city with hardly any images in its streets. Made of bronze, they are the work of the Italian Csare Sighinolfi and were commissioned to commemorate the IV Centenary of the Discovery of America.

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“Under threat of destruction”

Although they arrived in Colombia in 1897, they remained in storage until in 1906, during the government of Rafael Reyes, they were placed in the center of the city, at then Avenida Coln. Years later they suffered another movement, until at the end they ended up in the nearby El Dorado, in the middle of a busy avenue, an enclave without any showiness.

But every time there were demonstrations, the wall on which they were located always appeared with graffiti alluding to both characters and against the government of the day. It was evident that sooner or later they would remove them following the populist wave of removing any image that recalls the Discovery or, as they say in Colombia, the Conquest.

“Respected Minister of Culture: with the argument, under threat of destruction, With the fact that you brought down Queen Elizabeth and Christopher Columbus, you might as well dismantle the cultural tradition of the country and store it in a cellar while you talk to those who blackmail you. I don’t know if it fits, “wrote Gustavo lvarez Gardeazbal, writer and political analyst, who resides in Valle del Cauca, whose capital is Cali.

Few in Colombia know that in her last will, Isabel la Catlica wrote: “Do not consent or give place to the Indians receiving any injury to their persons and property, order that they be well and fairly treated, and if any injury they have received, it will be done. remedien “.

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