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Huge public sculpture takes shape

November 17, Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro and Guadalajara Mayor Pablo Lemus climbed into a small basket to be lifted by a crane and hoisted up to inspect the upper part of the huge sculpture being erected along the latest section of the Paseo Alcade pedestrian walkway project in the Guadalajara city center.

The 45-meter-tall “El Palomar” sculpture was designed by the late Luis Barragan, the acclaimed Jalisco-born architect who won the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 1980.  Although he drew up specific designs for the sculpture with the idea of erecting it in the Zapopan subdivision that bears its name (El Palomar), the project never came to fruition.

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Terracotta in color and made with more than 180 tons of reinforced steel, the statue’s foundations dive nine meters into the ground.

The sculpture is located at the “mini glorieta” on the new stretch of the Paseo Alcalde at the intersection of 16 de Septiembre, Leandro Valle and Colegiales in the Guadalajara historic center.

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State government media releases say that once finished, the monumental sculpture will be “a great visual and recreational experience” and “a meeting point for citizens and tourists.”

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Work on the latest part of the Paseo Alcalde project is taking place along a six-block section of Avenida 16 de Septiembre between Juarez and Libertad.  Finance will be provided to continue the project in 2023 to include the six-block stretch from Libertad to Niños Heroes, Alfaro said. The eventual aim is to construct a pedestrian walkway (albeit with lanes for some local traffic) all the way from the Normal Glorieta to the entrance to the Agua Azul Park.

After his ride into the sky, Lemus said the sculpture “will fill Guadalajara with pride,” explaining that the piece is just one part of “the transformation to recover the historic center.”

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