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Restorers in final stretch at iconic Monument a la Patria

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Many months of work at Mérida’s most famous monument is ending within weeks. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida, Yucatán — The historic Monumento a la Patria, one of the most iconic sites of the Yucatecan capital, is almost ready again for its closeup.

After intervention from specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the monument has been cleaned, repaired and renovated, and its scaffolding is coming down. Work will be declared complete in the coming weeks, INAH said.

The monument, which was built by the Colombian sculptor Rómulo Rozo between 1945 and 1957, is considered an essential part of the city’s identity of the Yucatecan capital, notes the news agency Notimex.

Placed in the center of one of the city’s most busy roundabouts, the monument was well overdue for an overhaul. It is also a favorite place for demonstrations.

The Monumento a la Patria. Photo: Getty

The work was sculpted by the Colombian artist in solid stone, and according to several narratives found in the Yucatan Library, is a synthesis of a pre-Columbian Mexico that defeats oppression and today lives in modernity.

The work has a semicircular shape, its north face simulates the lake of Texcoco in which a snake is devoured by an eagle, with Mayan motifs, with two columns on each side representing pre-Columbian warriors ready to fight to defend the homeland.

The monument was inaugurated in 1956 after 12 years of work. Photo: meridadeyucatan.com

From the water stand 31 small columns representing the Mexican states and Mexico City, signifying national unity.

On the southern face, the end point of Paseo de Montejo, stands a woman with mestiza features and dress and fine ornaments. The monument depicts a straw house, a sign of Maya identity, shining a light and surrounded by various Mayan symbols such as Mesoamerican chacmoles, jaguars, snails, snakes, flora and fauna.

Work on the site began in January, with a budget of 2 million pesos, and is almost completely done.

Over 50 years of soot was removed, and the structure was repaired and polished. Landscaping and lighting was also improved.

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