Mérida, Yucatán — Restoration work on the Monumento a la Patria could start as early as October if INAH approves a plan of action in time.
A specialist in restoration of historic sites studied the monument in April to assess its general condition. Although it looks fine from the distance, decay and grime are more obvious up close. Being on a traffic rotary for 60 years has taken a toll on the Monument of the Fatherland, as it is known in English.
A good cleaning and restoration, including signage, lighting and landscaping, would cost $1.25 million pesos.
The monument sits at the northern tip of the historic Paseo de Montejo, marking the beginning of the modern Prolongación Paseo de Montejo. It was designed by the Colombian artist Rómulo Rozo.
The monument was inaugurated in 1956 after 12 years of work. It is dominated by the 14-meter high stone figure of an indigenous man holding a flame. The structure has 31 columns, representing the 28 states of the Republic of Mexico, two territories and the Federal District.
Rozo died in Mérida in 1964 at the age of 65, after spending his last 33 years in Yucatán. His remains are buried at the foot of the monument.
A detailed restoration plan has been submitted to INAH, the nation’s historic commission and guardian of Mexico’s heritage sites, for approval. The three-month-long project is to begin in October, officials estimate.
With information from Diario de Yucatán