A political organization and a group of local residents placed a large religious statue on top of a pre-Hispanic pyramid in the state of Veracruz last month, despite the fact that the ancient structure is protected by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).
The event occurred on June 18 in the archaeological zone of Lomas del Manantial in the municipality of Tierra Blanca, when local politician and former mayoral candidate Manuel Dimas Cristóbal and a group of neighbors delivered a large statue of Christ the Redeemer to the site.
With the help of a crane and a dozen workers, they installed the five-meter concrete statue on top of the archaeological ruins known locally as “El Cerrito,” the site of long-ago indigenous rituals.
Participants posted images on social media of the installation of the statue, claiming they were upholding “Mexican traditions.”
However, others were quick to denounce their actions and a complaint was lodged with INAH regarding the placement of the statue without authorization.
Some called it an aberration, others a recurrence of the Spanish Conquest as they decried defacing a pre-Hispanic pyramid with a Catholic statue.
The institute sent a letter to the mayor asking for the statue to be removed from the area, which is protected by the Federal Law on Monuments and Archaeological, Artistic and Historical Zones.
In addition, INAH clarified that residents do not have permission to modify the area in any way, and asked for a guarantee that nothing similar happens again.
Local authorities have not complied with this request and Jesus still stands.