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Lesson 4 : Many Viewpoints / Part 1: Controversy

Community Pride

While some in Albuquerque objected to the installation of the Southwest Pieta, many others in the Mexican-American neighborhood of Martineztown looked on the sculpture with pride. When Jiménez proposed that it be installed in Martineztown, the community welcomed it warmly.

The proprietors of the grocery store across the street were proud to meet with then first lady Hillary Clinton, when she came to designate the Southwest Pieta a national historic treasure. They are seen here, on the right and left, after talking with a visitor about that event.

One of the leaders of the Mexican-American community of Albuquerque who was in favor of the sculpture was Rudolfo Anaya. He argued:

"Jiménez is accessible to his audience; he wants to communicate and he will shock you and dazzle you to do it. He has the intent and vision of a world artist. What else can we say¿ 'Te aventastes, bro.' You did it. You were touched by the muses of the vast deserts around El Paso, and you held steady to your vision. Any artist who accomplishes that deserves our respect, un abrazo."

After nearly two decades the Southwest Pieta is an integral part of Martineztown. Some young people have felt challenged to climb the pedestal and scratch their initials out of sight behind the eagle. They have literally made their mark on it, though not in a way that defaces it for others.