The El Paso Times reports that two big red steel blocks, visible across the Rio Grande in Juarez, Mexico, are the roots of a mammoth “X”, a public art piece by noted Mexican monumental steel sculptor Sebastian, whose 2007 Gran Puerta de México stands above the border in Matamoros. According to Sebastian, the piece honors mixed-race peoples and re-creates both the Christian cross and an Aztec religious symbol called the Nahui Ollin, (which he explains in a YouTube video posted by the city). It’s big: the piece, when finished in March of 2012, it will be 196 feet tall, the equivalent of a 17 story building and will incorporate a museum and restaurant.
Commissioned by the city of Juarez, The project began in 2007 during the previous, and first, administration of current mayor Héctor Murguía. Work on the X project was suspended for three years when Murguía’s term ended. His successor, Mayor José Reyes Ferriz cancelled it, but now it’s back on again, despite controversy over the piece’s design and cost.