Mexico City settles on Indigenous sculpture to replace Columbus statue

Mexico City settles on Indigenous sculpture to replace Columbus statue
© Getty Images

A sculpture of an Indigenous woman was selected to replace a statue of Christopher Columbus in Mexico City.

The pre-Hispanic sculpture, known as "The Young Woman of Amajac," was discovered in January in the Huasteca region near the Gulf of Mexico and will be displayed on the city's most prominent boulevard, according to NPR.

Archeologists say the woman depicted in the statue may have been a member of the elite or governing class, while the National Institute of Anthropology and History previously compared the statue to images of a fertility goddess, NPR reported. 

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NPR added that the new statue is nearly three times the size of the Columbus statue that it is to replace. 

The Columbus statue was removed last year before Columbus Day, known as "Day of the Race" in Mexico, supposedly for restoration.

But on Tuesday, Diego Prieto Hernández, who serves as director of the National Institute of Anthropology and History, admitted that it was removed for preservation reasons.

"This was based, not on any ideological judgement of the [Columbus] character, but rather because of a need to conserve the sculptural group, which, if it had been left in place, would have been the target of threats and protests," Prieto Hernandez said, according to NPR.

Last month, Mexico City's Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced the plan to replace the statue of Columbus with one that honored and brought “social justice” to Mexico's Indigenous women.