This press release was important because it set off a controversy about the monument commissioned to the sculptor, Edgar Negret (1920?2012), by Colombia’s Ministry of Public Works and Transport to celebrate the 150-year anniversary of the death of Bolívar. According to the press, this sculpture would be the largest monument constructed in Latin America to date (30x80x80 meters) and would be built in a small square in Bogotá’s Simón Bolívar Park.
The press release was published a few days before the scheduled beginning of construction on the piece—which in Negret’s opinion, “will be the best work I have ever sculpted, in a lifetime dedicated to sculpture.” Once the disagreement of the members of the Colombian History Academy with Negret’s design was published, the project was put on hold.
This criticism set off a public controversy that extended through the second half of 1980. This initially led the Ministry to declare the cancelation of the project, which stirred up a general public debate in a range of media on the relevance of Abstract art in Colombia.
This information is supplemented with other documents: See “No se ordenó monumento a Negret” ; “Académicos vs. Artistas” ; “Desagravio de artistas al maestro Edgar Negret” ; “Definitivo: no se hará el monumento de Negret” ; and “Será un monumento popular” .