They would have to remove the Bolivar statue in Héroes due to the risk of collapse

Through a message posted on his Twitter account, Bogotá’s Minister of Government, Luis Ernesto Gómez, confirmed that The authorities of the capital decided to remove the statue of Bolivar Equestre, That presides over the Monument to Los Heroes, at the intersection of Calle 80 with the Northern Highway. It should be noted that it is one of the most important points of concentration of protesters in the city since the start of the national strike that began on April 28.

“In the context of the demonstrations, at the Los Heroes Monument, there were various artistic interventions and also in some of them where some protesters sat on the statue. According to a report and study by our Cultural Heritage Institute and some experts, Our memorial is currently in imminent danger of collapse. “The official said.

With this, he refers to the intervention that took place in the early morning of Saturday May 22nd by the District Secretariat for Culture, Entertainment and Sports, Idiger, and the Heritage Directorate of the Ministry of Culture, who evaluated and recruited the removal of the statue with the technical and safety conditions necessary to dismantle and move it. It was done this way, ”To ensure the safety of citizens and not to hinder the days of social demonstrations The city sector does not move, ”according to the first of these institutions.

In the midst of these evaluations, it was possible to verify that the fire that was lit at the base of the pedestal during the days of the parade changed the point of union between the pedestal and the pedestal that supported it. Although a portion of the bronze base is embedded in a layer of cement that helps keep the piece securely in support,The high temperatures that the monument was subjected to caused part of this cement to crystallize It fractured and lost its ability to support sculpture, thus threatening its stability.

Damage to the Bolivar Equestre statue, at the Monument to Los Heroes, Bogotá.  / Secretary of Culture, Recreation and Sports
Damage to the Bolivar Equestre statue, at the Monument to Los Heroes, Bogotá. / Secretary of Culture, Recreation and Sports

The secretariat also indicated that “the heat that the statue was exposed to caused the bronze to expand and the metal to crystallize and caused cracks that weakened the stability of the piece, which weighs about 3.2 tons.” Likewise, it has been proven that between this visit and the previous visit on May 18th, The monument has deteriorated further, so that “there is an imminent danger of collapse.” Of the statue if it continues to be subjected to external loads, vibration and manipulation. “

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Then it would be serious damage if one took into account that in addition to the fire, The statue has already been starred in at least one collapse attempt By the demonstrators who gathered at the site on May 15th. A fact that occurred at night when a small group tied two ropes to the bronze statue with the intent to demolish it to no avail.

People try to topple the statue of South American independence leader Simon Bolivar during a protest against sexual assault by police and excessive use of public force against peaceful protests, in Bogotá, Colombia, May 15, 2021. Reuters / Luisa Gonzalez
People try to topple the statue of South American independence leader Simon Bolivar during a protest against sexual assault by police and excessive use of public force against peaceful protests, in Bogotá, Colombia, May 15, 2021. Reuters / Luisa Gonzalez

However, Minister Gomez warned that it is a statue that, in the event of its collapse, could seriously affect the lives of bystanders or protesters. The county has taken a decision to temporarily remove the memorial in the next few days.When the technical and hereditary conditions are guaranteed. “

Thus, the official asked the protesters not to approach the statue area, and even to refrain from attempting to intervene. “District monitors will be present at the Los Héroes Memorial during the days of the social demonstration to exercise preventive surveillance. And to ensure that people continue to meet in this place in a safe manner. “

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