Telam

“They’re scrapping Juana Azurduy like they did with Zamba,” one twitter user joked today, comparing the controversial historical monument in Parque Colón to a statue of Pakapaka’s famed children’s cartoon character.

Last year, after current president Mauricio Macri took over from Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the huge doll of Zamba, a cartoon boy who somehow got tangled up in a political shitstorm, was torn down and thrown in the garbage at the Tecnópolis theme park. Yesterday, the Buenos Aires City Legislature approved plans to relocate a statue of historical figure Juana Azurduy, which was inaugurated during Cristina’s presidency less than two years ago, amid a great deal of controversy.

They’re scrapping Juana Azurduy like they did with Zamba. Now someone’s going to come out saying that they’re disappearing her like they did during the dictatorship.

However, unlike its erection in 2015, when the figure of the Bolivian military leader and revolutionary heroine replaced a statue of the American conquistador Christopher Columbus, this latest decision about the bronze sculpture seems to have little to do with politics, however much twitter users want to gripe.

The Azurduy statue, donated by the Bolivian government and made by Andrés Zerneri, is in fact being moved from its home in the Parque Colón behind the Casa Rosada due to the imminent remodelling of the space. The area is being prepared in order to make way for the new “Parque del Bajo”, as part of the Government’s plans to create more green space in the city.

It is expected that the statue will be removed from its current position in September and sent to the Monuments and Works of Art (MOA) area in Bosques de Palermo, where it will be restored before arriving at its ultimate destination at the Plaza del Correo in front of the Néstor Kirchner Cultural Center.

Meanwhile, it was also decided that a statue of Juan de Garay would be relocated too, although not quite so far afield. The sculpture, currently situated in the square between Alem and Rivadavia, will be moved a few meters to nearby the future presidential helipad, which will be attached to the Casa Rosada.

To hell with the Juana Azurduy statue, take her away along with that monstrosity that is Cristina. Take them far away from Buenos Aires.

The first reading of the law was approved with 35 votes for, 17 against and 6 abstentions. As it is a modification in the Code of Urban Planning in an Historical Protection Area, however, a public hearing and a second reading must be held.

“It strikes me that some lawmakers who voted in favor of the Paseo del Bajo project now have reservations regarding the relocation of monuments,” said Emilio Raposo Varela (PRO). On a positive note, Javier Gentilini (Renewal Front) asserted: “We have the perfect opportunity to resolve differences that we have been dragging along for years.”

Some politicians have not been quite so welcoming of the plans, however. Echoing social media, in the Victory Front caucus, political intentions were suspected. “It’s hard for the president to look Juana Azurduy in the eye, just like Milagro Sala, so he prefers to have Juan de Garay close by. I’m talking about the symbols that they really represent,” said Javier Andrade.