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    Convocan a concurso : monumento a Túpac Amaru se levantará en el Cuzco
    El Peruano (Lima, Perú). -- Sept. 15, 1970
    Newspaper article – notes
    "Convocan a concurso: Monumento a Túpac Amaru se levantará en el Cuzco." El Peruano (Lima, Perú), September 15, 1970.

This is the first invitation to submit proposals to the official competition that was organized to design a statue of Túpac Amaru II, the indigenous hero of Peruvian independence, in the Plaza de Armas in Cuzco, where he was executed. The competition was overseen by the Comisión Nacional del Sesquicentenario de la Independencia and was open to all sculptors and architects residing in Peru. The winner would be awarded a prize of one hundred thousand soles and would be commissioned to produce the monument, which should not cost over three million soles. The article notes that “in view of the subject’s historical importance and social impact” the design and production of the monument had been deemed to be in the national interest and as such had been the subject of a new law. The article also mentions the Ministry of Education national painting competition, whose goal is “to obtain a worthy portrait of the hero” in accordance with legal requirements that the portrait of Túpac Amaru II be hung “in a prominent place in all government institutions.”      


This article appeared on the front page of El Peruano, the official government instrument [of communication] that marked the beginning of one of the most controversial and eventful competitions of the 1970s, launched on three separate occasions and declared void every time. A fourth attempt resulted in the awarding of the prize to the academic sculptor Joaquín Ugarte y Ugarte (1917–84), however, his equestrian statue was never installed in the Plaza de Armas. Some criticized the incongruity of placing the statue in that colonial environment. Nothing ever came of Decreto Ley 18280, the law that created a competition to design a statue of the indigenous hero and install it in the Plaza de Armas. The monument was actually erected in a new plaza created especially for the purpose. The law also decreed that a portrait of Túpac Amaru was to be placed in all educational institutions; this led to a simultaneous effort to create a painting contest, but it too never came to anything.    


José Gabriel Condorcanqui, Túpac Amaru II (1738–81), was an Inca chieftain who, in 1780, led the rebellion of the Andean people against the Spanish Empire. After languishing in the relative obscurity of traditional Peruvian historiography, his image was appropriated by the self-styled Gobierno Revolucionario de las Fuerzas Armadas during its first phase (1968–75), a time when the government was pioneering social reforms and exploring the use of icons as symbolic expressions of the regime and its aims.


[As complementary reading about Túpac Amaru II, see the following articles in the ICAA digital archive: by General EP Felipe de la Barra “¿Cómo fue Túpac Amaru?” (doc. no. 865441); (unattributed) “Convocan a concurso de pintura para perpetuar la imagen plástica del mártir José Gabriel Condorcanqui” (doc. no. 865422); by Alfredo Arrisueño Cornejo “Declaran desierto el Concurso de Pintura ‘Túpac Amaru II’” (doc. no. 865498); (unattributed) “En busca de la imagen arquetípica de Túpac Amaru” (doc. no. 865702); by Daniel Valcárcel “El retrato de Túpac Amaru” (doc. no. 1052165); and by A. O. Z. “Túpac Amaru: ¿verdadero retrato?” (doc. no. 865460)].

Daniel Contreras Medina, Gustavo Buntinx Armagno
Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru
Reproduced with permission of the publisher, Lima, Peru