Vandalized statue is focus of new controversy

Museo de Arte Costarricense officials have vowed to restore a classic monument, the Monumento al Agricultor at Parque al Agricultor, but they say they want to keep the statue at the museum instead of returning it to the park in Alajuela when it is done.

“At the museum it can stay protected,” said Marissia Obando Razak, spokesperson for Museo de Arte Costarricense.

This has upset many who have voiced their opinions through social networks. The frustration of the statue admirers has led them to plan a demonstration for Thursday at 4 p.m. to demand restoration as well as keeping the monument in the park. This movement isn’t related to any government organization, said Ms. Obando.

Costa Rica has art work at every major park or pedestrian walkway. Most are statues. At Parque Nacional there is Monumento Nacional. The Plaza de las Artes now harbors a John Lennon statue.

Along Avenida Central there are various sculptures from a bronzed well-rounded lady to metal stick musicians to plastic dogs. The Parque al Agricultor in Alajuela is no exception. It is home to giant Monumento al Agricultor.

However, this art work has had no protection and over the years has been neglected. The once-respected bronze monument now stands blanketed in graffiti, cracked, oxidized.

The mother figure has endured the most abuse with her left arm amputated, her remaining right arm has a missing thumb, and there are marks that show attempts of mutilation. The eyes of all three figures, the father, mother and child are spray painted orange. The right breast of the mother is also spray painted orange, as well as the buttocks of the child. The entire left side of the woman’s torso has been tagged.

“The way the sculpture now stands is the way our society is… every time more empty, every time more destroyed morally, every time more chaotic,” said La Agonía del Monumento al Agricultor, the Facebook page for the restoration of the monument.

The statue was a gift to the city of Alajuela by Mexican artist Maestro Francisco “Paco” Zúñiga when the park opened in 1976.

This entry was posted in Costa Rica News. Bookmark the permalink.