The City of McAllen and the International Museum of Arts and Science was presented last week with a replica of the Olmec Head No. 8 by the governor of Veracruz, Fidel Herrera Beltran.

“It is a real great pleasure to present to IMAS and the City of McAllen with this colossal reproduction of the original head located at the Anthropological Museum of Xalapa, Veracruz,” Beltran said. “This piece of art represents the root of the Mexican History, our sacred origin and our strength.”

Beltran also said that through the sculpture visitors will be able to hear the silent voice of the oldest culture of Mexico and the mother civilization of North America.

On hand to receive the 1,700-pound sculpture which is the beginning of a sculpture park at IMAS was Mayor Richard Cortez.

“Here today we find ourselves with a goodwill gesture that after all of us quit walking this ground this symbol will always be here to demonstrate that there’s a better way for people to coexist, live together, work together and to celebrate even different cultures together,” Cortez said. “Thank you very much and I willingly accept this great honor.”

The sculpture was made by Mexican Veracruzano sculptor Ignacio Perez Solano and is one of 12 replicas made for distribution worldwide. There are only two other replicas in the United States. One is in Chicago and the other in Los Angeles.

Beltran stated in his speech that the sculpture will serve as a starting point for increasing relationships in commerce, culture, technology, universities and in border prosperity.

“This colossal masterpiece can only give testimony to the cultural roads that we share,” Beltran said. “But also it’s a vision of what we mean collaborating from now on and forever.”