I had my doubts, I really did. Just a month ago the Monument to the Revolution and specifically the area around it, was looking far from ready for the big day. Which is tomorrow. I stopped past again today, and…..well blow me down with a feather! Finished. Or very almost. There’s no reason to think they can’t get the last few cracks between the paving slabs filled in before home-time.
The area immediately surrounding the monument is still closed off though. I did try and discreetly join a bunch of people who were being shown around, but an eagle eyed security guard noticed the extra person shuffling in….there’s no missing a 6 foot plus white chap I’m afraid. I was quickly ejected from the group and left to circle the monument from the wrong side of the barriers. Still, the whole place opens up to the public on Monday.
A lot of people have been grumbling for a long time about the amount of money being spent on the bicentenary/centenary celebrations, and although I don’t always agree with them, I do well understand their point. But the money spent on this project in my opinion is well worth while. Although as ever I justify the decision to spend money doing something, not the process of spending it – often involving excess, nepotism, corruption and waste. The monument is a massive and significant landmark of the city and a permanent fixture, which differentiates it from the parades, pyrotechnics and shows that have been put on, all of which are temporary.
From what I can see, they have done a fabulous job. It’s made the whole plaza and structure clean, bright, attractive and a hundred times more impressive to the eye. There’s a glass elevator which I assume is going to take visitors up to the inner staircase and onto a balcony or platform. Hopefully the museum below the monument will have been given an equally spectacular make-over. It contains the remains, I think, of Pancho Villa. I could be wrong, though.
But that’s the problem the monument has had in recent years. It was better viewed from a distance, where the dirt, decay, graffiti and shady characters that loitered around it were at a safe distance. It hasn’t been a ‘must see’ place for a long time, and there wasn’t much in the tourist books to tell you about it and the museum.
It should now be one of the top visitor sites in the city, up there with the Angel, the Anthropoligical museum, the Casa Azul in Coyoacan, the National Palace and Bellas Artes. A lot of the surrounding buildings are government owned and in good nick. A few others have been given a new coat of paint. But there are still a lot of buildings which need some attention. Hopefully the extra visitors that are coming in this direction will mean a little extra money for the neighborhood. The regeneration of Mexico City continues. Click here to see the photos I took of the monument and area today.