Statues - Hither & Thither
W B Street
La Diana Cazadora
Diana the Huntress
Juan Olaguibel & Ricardo Ponzanelli
Pointing to the statue of a naked woman posing as an archer, in the middle of a floral-shaped fountain at the intersection of the two roads, she said, “This is the Fountain of Diana the Huntress, another important landmark in the city. Though it is now called la Diana Cazadora or Diana the Huntress, the original name given to it by its sculptor was la Flechadora del Norte or the Northern Arrow Thrower." [an other source says: Flechadora de la Estrella del Norte or Archer of the North Star, PvdK]
The sculptor, Juan Olaguibel, had meant his work to be a monument not merely to Diana, the Roman Goddess of Hunting, but to the beauty of female body as well. So he presented Diana in the nude. His model, it is said, was a 16-year-old part-time secretary who worked for Mexico's state-owned petroleum company. The story goes that she posed naked for the sculptor every day of the April-September 1942 period that took him to complete the statue. The young lady's only compensation was the joy “of seeing her body immortalized on one of the most beautiful avenues in the city.”
But soon after the statue's inauguration, on October 10, 1942, Diana's nudity drew protests from Mexico's prudes. The forms of protest included covering the nudity with underwear made of cotton. Cotton underwear on a bronze statue? Sculptor Olaguibel had a better idea. He replaced it with one made of bronze. But hoping to take it off sometime in the future, when the Mexican society was expected to become less prudish, he welded the underwear at three corners only tentatively.
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