(PRESS RELEASE) – A replica of the equestrian statue of José Martí in the Central Park of New York was inaugurated today in Havana.
The National Hero of Cuba, Jose Marti, was born in Havana on January 28, 1853 and died in combat in Dos Ríos on May 19, 1895.
Army General Raul Castro Ruz, president of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, presided over the ceremony in the park “Trece de Marzo”, a few meters from the old Presidential Palace, current Museum of the Revolution.
The central words of the act of unveiling were in charge of the Historian of the City, Eusebio Leal.
Eusebio thrilled the Cuban and American public that was sitting in front of the statue. Next to Raúl was the Cuban vice President, Miguel Díaz-Canel, the president of the National Assembly of Popular Power, Esteban Lazo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez, among other members of the Cuban Government.
There were also representatives of the Bronx Museum, a key institution to make the dream of having a replica of the work of Anna Hyatt Huntington in Havana a reality. US and Cuban citizens residing in the US who contributed funds to materialize what was unveiled today, traveled to the Cuban capital to be present at the event.
José Velázquez, representative of the Office of the Mayor of New York, read a message sent by the Mayor of that city, Bill de Blasio. “We celebrate with pride the friendship that our city shares with Cuba. On behalf of New York, I express my best wishes that you have a pleasant and meaningful ceremony”, the Governor wrote.
During the ceremony, there were several thanks to the recently deceased, Holly Block (1959-2017), who as Director of the Museum of the Bronx was one of the most enthusiastic drivers of the realization of this project. “It was Holly Block with whom I interviewed in hours of sadness, when she and I were attacked by sudden illness. She could not survive. Today in his name, I thank those hundred donors, among whom institutions and people did from a modest contribution to the largest”, explained Leal Spengler with heartfelt voice.
The identical reproduction of Martí’s statue in New York arrives in Cuba 22 years after the first conversations began in order to have the Apostle present on his horse in the capital of the greater of the Antilles. The bronze piece weighs eight and a half tons and is on a black marble pedestal. American sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington (1876-1973) is the author of the original monument erected in 1958 and placed seven years later in Manhattan’s famous Central Park.