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The heritage building in Parral. The heritage building in Parral.

Pancho Villa statue costs heritage home

Home was classed as historic monument in city of Parral

Through efforts to commemorate Francisco Villa, hero of the Mexican Revolution, a city in the state of Chihuahua has demolished a 19th-century heritage home.

The importance of the demolished building was in its representation of the architectural trends in the city of Parral at the time, explained architect Emilia Díaz Arreola, who oversees Chihuahua’s historic monuments for INAH, the National Institute of Anthropology and History.

The house was an example of the construction system and the materials used during that period, she explained, and under federal law was catalogued as a historic monument, and “part of the broader historic character of this city.”

The adobe building still had most of its original construction and was considered authentic.

On April 30, the house was torn down with heavy machinery under orders of the state government, which intends to erect a monumental sculpture honoring the Centaur of the North, Francisco “Pancho” Villa.

According to INAH Chihuahua researchers, the state administration plans to replace the heritage building with “the largest sculpture in the Americas.” To be created by local artist Lourdes Trevizo, it will stand about 37 meters high.

Díaz explained that her office filed a criminal complaint on May 1 against all those found responsible for the demolition, but work on the site had continued uninterrupted.

“[The federal INAH office] never issued its authorization and ordered the suspension of all work on the site, but local journalists report that work on the sculpture is still ongoing,” said Díaz.

In a press release this week, INAH denounced the demolition, claiming it “damages and modifies the heritage values of the historic center of the city of Parral,” an action itself considered to be “a major alteration of the country’s cultural heritage.”

What is to be known as the Plaza Juárez will greatly affect the historical configuration of the former silver mining town, said INAH, and the dimensions and scale of the proposed sculpture will create a negative impact.

The institute said it has decided to suspend all work on the project.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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