Re: 42-ft Equestrian Statue at El Paso
The controversy over the statue was there all along. An equestrian statue of Don Pedro de Peralta, follower of Oņate in Santa Fé, New Mexico was attacked by vandals who cut one of his feet with a torch. A much smaller equestrian but the same conquistadorian expedition. The current city council members in El Paso were not the ones who approved the proposal in 1992. The initial list and the order that the 12 travelers were to be presented has been revised several times. This is the second figure and is as the first, a male. The next one if there is ever another one, will most likely be the female figure of Mary Stanton, the founder of the El Paso public library, she was also a teacher. It would have been more appropriate to have her as an equestrian instead of Mr. Oņate.
While Americans are pulling down statues of the deposed Iraqi leader for his misdeeds against his own people, Americans are erecting statues to commemorate Spaniard conquistadors who have killed the buffalos until they became extinct and nearly annihilated the entire Native American population in an act that is classified today as genocide.
Renaming the statue from its original Oņate to The Equestrian and now the desire to revert back to Oņate is the wish of its sculptor. The general population resents it under any name. Once an Oņate always an oņate.
My own personal opinion is about its placement. It is minimized by the location, it is nearly invisible from the main street. Unless someone enters the road to the airport or leaves the terminal to head into the city, one can not appreciate its size and its monumental impact.
The original crossing point of Oņate along the river would have made a greater statement. It would have been easily seen and be accessible from both sides of the border; a location that was not yet defined as a demarcation dividing two countries.
"Every time I make a mistake I fall into the abyss of learning something New"