Lima: Monumento a Francisco Pizarro (Parque de la Muralla)
The monument of Francisco Pizarro (c. 1471 or 1476 – 1541) is the work of the American sculptor Charles Cary Rumsey (1879 - 1922). It was donated to the city of Lima by his widow Mary Harriman Rumsey (1881 – 1934) and unveiled in January 1935 on the occasion of the fourth centenary of Lima's founding by Pizarro. Pizarro was the leader of the Spanish force that conquered the Inca Empire and the first governor of the new Spanish colony, Lima becoming its capital.
Initially, the monument was located in front of the Catedral on the Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor) but was moved to a corner of the Plaza in 1950. From the very beginning, the placement of the monument caused conflict. While some saw it appropriate to commemorate the founder of the city, others viewed it as symbol of colonialism and argued that Lima should not honor the destroyer of the Inca culture and oppressor of Peru's indigenous people. In 2003, the statue was moved to its current much less prominent location in a corner of the Parque de la Muralla at the edge of the historic center of Lima.
Ultimately, this monument represents political conflicts between the conservative elites mostly of Spanish descent and progressive forces who represent the oppressed and want to promote indigenous culture. Pizarro is founding father to some and war criminal to others. It is symbolic for the struggle for a national identity and the tensions between European and indigenous traditions and for the ongoing effort to define a hybrid culture that in some form existed ever since Pizarro arrived.
This historic image from 1938 shows the original placement of the Pizarro statue in front of the cathedral.