ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque has removed the statue of conquistador Juan de Oñate in Old Town on Tuesday morning. On Monday, June 15, a male was shot during a protest for the removal of a statue of Oñate that’s located on Mountain and 19th Street.
The sculpture sits outside the Albuquerque Museum. The artist who created it signed a waiver to have the city remove it to preserve the piece in fear it would be destroyed or vandalized.
The artist says he has mixed feelings about it coming down. “It weighs very heavy because of the history and I was proud to have done that piece,” said artist Reynaldo Rivera. “If it’s going to come down for all this time I would like to have done something that the people would enjoy.”
At this time, the Oñate statue was the only statue that was taken down. However, the city is discussing the removal of the other conquistadors.
Mayor Keller stated on Monday night that the statue will be removed until the “appropriate civic institutions can determine next steps”.