The Juan Ponce de Leon statue, the first governor of Puerto Rico, was demolished this Monday in Old San Juan, the historic center of the Caribbean capital, which in a few hours will receive King Felipe VI, to begin a brief official visit to the island.
The statue of the Spanish conqueror, located in Plaza San José, one of the most central in the Puerto Rican capital, was collapsed and fractured when falling from the pedestal on which it stood. As a result of the fall, the sculpture was divided into its trunk and legs, while part of the pedestal was also fractured into multiple pieces.
On the ground and broken into pieces. This is how the statue of the Spanish colonizer Juan Ponce De León woke up today, located in Plaza Colón on San Sebastián Street in Old San Juan. Investigate SJ Municipal CIC pic.twitter.com/tfKqvR5zIZ
– Hermes Ayala (@traficopesado) January 24, 2022
This act of vandalism occurs just a few hours before the arrival in San Juan del Rey, which begins this Monday an official visit to Puerto Rico with which it seeks to strengthen bilateral trade and support the legacy of centuries of Spanish presence on the island with occasion of the 500 years of the founding of the capital.
The mayor of San Juan, Miguel Romero, has lamented the event and has affirmed that he is already investigation underway, which will include the analysis of the cameras near the place in order to identify those responsible. “Now public funds must be invested in fixing that, in making a new sculpture,” he told local media.
The mayor of San Juan has also assured that the collapse of the statue will not affect Felipe VI’s visit, whose agenda includes a reception at the Casa de España in Old San Juan, near where the collapsed statue is located.
The King is making this visit in response to the invitation of the mayor of San Juan, founded by the Spanish in 1521. The monarch travels with a view to strengthening cultural ties, but especially to balance a trade balance that is very favorable to this Commonwealth To USA.
Juan Ponce de León, born in Santervás de Campos (Valladolid), in April 1460, was the first ruler of Puerto Rico and discoverer of Florida, current United States.
The acts of hostility towards statues of Spanish conquistadors scattered throughout the United States had not reached Puerto Rico.