The Angel of Independence
The Angel of Independence is, by far, a historical, urban and symbolic reference of Mexico’s collective conscience. Many characters were involved in the work; Antonio Rivas Mercado as the project’s main promoter, Enrique Alciati was responsible for the sculptures and Roberto Gayol was in charge of adapting the space. According to a Pre-Columbian legend, a warrior named Popocatépetl fell in love with Iztaccíhuatl, a king’s daughter, and earned a tentative marriage blessing from the king, on the condition that he win a battle against a rival tribe. While the battle delayed the warrior, a rival suitor started a rumor that Popocatépetl had been killed in the battle, and the fair maiden died of a broken heart. Upon finally returning as the victor from the battle, Popocatépetl discovered the fate of his lover and buried her on top of a mountain range that assumed the shape of a sleeping woman in honor of the dead maiden. Grief-stricken, Popocatépetl climbed an adjacent mountain in order to keep eternal watch over his beloved. Today, the depiction of the volcanoes on the Libertad coin still tells the lovers' story.