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Cozumel’s iconic statue of Ixchel splits into two

Cozumel, Q.R. — Weather conditions on Cozumel Island have taken its toll on the iconic image of the Mayan Goddess Ixchel, which has partially collapsed. The life-size figure, which was donated to the city, is a popular tourist point for photos.

Personnel from Public Services have secured the now two-piece statue, however, it is not known when or if Ixchel will be replaced. Alejandro Alonso Flores, Cozumel’s director of public services says that replacing the statue “is something that depends on the mayor’s office as it implies having a budget.”

In December 2019, a fire destroyed the dancing fountains in Benito Juárez Park, which, due to a lack of budget, has not yet been repaired.

Initially it was believed that the statue of Ixchel was being vandalized, however, after several photo comparisons between 2020 and now, officials were able to see the escalating damage, a majority of which began during the overly wet 2020 hurricane season.

“The frame was already damaged, and since it is covered by clay, it was not possible to see that rust had corroded the support metal inside,” explained Flores after the top portion of the statue collapsed. He says being 50 meters from the sea is also a contributing factor to the erosion, adding that after the hurricanes last year, a crack in the body was detected.