Colombia has started the removal of several historical statues, including a royal statue of the Spanish Queen Isabel of Castile. The statue was removed as a security measure after the statue was tried to be torn down by protesters. The Colombian Ministry of Culture carried out around the removal in silent at 5 am Friday morning last week to avoid problems. The statue was located at the international airport in Bogota.
Following the removal the following statement was published by the Ministry of Culture: “With the aim of opening a dialogue by means of 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 Católica and Cristóbal Colón”.
The removal was done in the midst of a 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 indigenous Misak natives, had already tried to demolish the royal statue. During that same day the monuments were painted red in an act of vandalism. They managed to tie some ropes to the head of the statue, but the rapid intervention of the National Police prevented them from achieving their purpose of tear it down. On May 8, they did the same with the statue of Sebastián Jiménez de Quesada, founder of Bogotá, located in the plaza of the Universidad del Rosario, in the centre of the Colombian capital.
One of Colombia’s largest newspapers had strongly criticised the attempted vandalism of the statue by protesters and that several politicians supported the attack. They writes that in Colombia there are politicians who want to capitalize on chaos and ride hatred.
Isabella was Queen of Castile from 1474 until she died in 1504, reigning over a dynastically unified Spain jointly with her husband, King Ferdinand II of Aragon. She was Queen of Aragon after Ferdinand ascended in 1479. Isabella are known for supporting and financing Christopher Columbus’s 1492 voyage that led to the discovery of the New World by Europeans, and for the establishment of Spain as a major power in Europe and much of the world for more than a century.