The indefensible statue of Hernán Cortés stepping on an Aztec head

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A clandestine group stained the statue of Hernán Cortés in red for considering it offensive to Mexico, Spanish authorities regretted the vandalization but did not speak about the contempt of this work for Aztec culture.

For 132 years, a highly controversial statue has been lying in the center of the town square in Medellín, Spain: it is the conquistador Hernán Cortés proudly stepping on the head of an idol or an Aztec man, it is not clear.

And although for obvious reasons this may be one of the least presumptuous effigies in that country, the reality is that his fame has reached it to be a victim of vandalization, or at least one, that occurred in 2010.

On August 11 of that year, the soccer teams of Mexico and Spain had a match at the Azteca Stadium. That match was not a big deal, in fact the final score was 1-1, but in Medellín, the conquistador’s birthplace, the situation was more intense.

A group of people of unknown nationality to date threw red paint at the statue of Hernán Cortés, leaving a crimson stain from the chest to the area where the head of the Aztec idol is, or what they say is the head of an Aztec idol.

“Statue is an insult to Mexico”: Anonymous Citizens

The act was awarded by a group called Ciudadanos Anónimos, it was learned from a bunch of pamphlets thrown at the foot of the effigy column, in which the clandestine organization explained that the action was carried out because the statue is an insult to Mexico.

The vandalization was taken by the then mayor of Medellín, Antonio Parral, as an offense. He said that the perpetrators ignore the story because, he assured, the head that Cortés steps on is not that of a native but of an idol of the Aztec culture.

But frankly the mayor’s statement did not reduce the controversy in the least to the effigy in question. The vandalization was forgotten over the years.

The origin of the statue of Cortés stepping on an Aztec head

Now let’s talk about the origin of this statue to the conqueror. It was in 1889 when the municipality of Medellín hired, for a cost of 62 thousand 772 pesetas, the sculptor Eduardo Barrón González, to create a statue of Hernán Cortés in order to honor him for his exploits.

The design of this sculptural work presents the conquistador in military dress, riding boots, sword, holding a Castilian banner, the command scepter and having under his feet pieces of Aztec idol altars, according to the medellinhistoria.com page.

The statue was cast in 1890 at Federico Masriera’s company, located in Barcelona. Reaching a weight of five tons and three meters high from head to toe, or four meters from feet to the tip of the pole.

The queen mother names the sculptor “Knight of Carlos III”

Once Eduardo Barrón González reported the conclusion of the effigy, the Queen Mother went to the artist’s workshop to appreciate his work, being so impressed that she named him “Knight of Carlos III”.

The statue of Cortés arrived by train, but the problems began when the horse-drawn carriages that transported it from the train station sank several times in the mud of the streets due to the great weight of the sculpture.

But in the end the work reached its destination. It was mounted on the pedestal and inaugurated on December 2, 1890, the anniversary of the conqueror’s death.

The connection between Franco and Hernán Cortés

In the comment box of the journalistic note that reports on the vandalization of the statue of Cortés on August 11, 2010, within the site elmundo.es, highlights the consistency of one marked with the number 669, made by a Spanish woman who expresses the following:

“…it is impossible to defend the statue, be it Moctezuma’s hair or a pagan idol. It is sad that in this country (Spain) they are fighting for historical memory and the removal of street names and symbols of Francoism, but let’s forget about the massacre we carried out there (…) let’s change the Indian’s head for a stone, no no one would be offended”, concluded the reader.

Source: Mexico Desconocido