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Old 04-18-2007, 09:27 AM
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Merlion Merlion is offline
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Re: 42-ft Equestrian Statue at El Paso

Oh! I didn't know this huge equestrian statue at El Paso has not yet been 'unveiled'.

Oņate statue’s journey nears end



April 18, 2007, After 10 years of work and controversy, bronze to be unveiled Saturday in El Paso

The son of the man who helped sculpt Mount Rushmore is unveiling his own controversial, monumental piece of art in El Paso this weekend: A 36-foot-tall statue of Don Juan de Oņate.

Billed as the largest equestrian bronze in the world, the 34,000-pound sculpture depicts the conquistador astride a rearing stallion.

“I think it’s the culminating dream of every sculptor to do a really important equestrian statue,” said sculptor and Santa Fe resident John Sherill Houser, whose father, Ivan Houser, was a studio assistant to Gutzon Borglum, who carvedMount Rushmore. “It’s one of the most difficult things that can be done.”

Houser was speaking of the artistic and engineering challenges of constructing such a colossal monument. But he might have been referring to political hurdles. Ten years in the making, the $2 million Oņate project reignited clashes between Hispanic and Pueblo Indian interpretations of history: Was Oņate, who came up the Rio Grande to found the first Hispanic settlements in NewMexico, a hero to be glorified or a war criminal to be vilified? ....
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