Plaza Botero is one of the top tourist attractions in Medellín. Plaza Botero is an outside park in front of Museo de Antioquia that displays 23 abstract bronze sculptures created by World-renowned Colombian artist Fernando Botero. Botero donated the statues and many other artworks found in Museo de Antioquia.
The 23 bronze statues found at Plaza Botero include chubby women and men, a cat, a dog, Adam and Eve and many others. The above photo of Plaza Botero is by Jenny Bojinova. The building in the photo is Rafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture (Palacio del la Cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe).
We included Plaza Botero in our recommended tourist itinerary for a day in Medellín.
History of Plaza Botero
The history of Plaza Botero is related to the history of Museo de Antioquia. In 1997, the museum that was not at its current location was heavily in debt and had few visitors. And survival of the museum was even in question. Yet Fernando Botero had made a promise of a donation if the museum grew.
A new director of the museum, Pilar Velilla, contacted Botero, who promised to donate a sculpture room, a painting room and a drawing room if the museum was to be in a new location. In addition, the governor of Antioquia, Álvaro Uribe Vélez, and the mayor of Medellín, Sergio Naranjo, at the time supported the project. And a search for a new building started.
A new mayor was elected in Medellín in 1998, Juan Gómez Martínez, who also supported the project. Furthermore, he made the decision to use the old Municipal Palace for the museum. The idea of renovating the building to support the museum grew and become a banner project to change a deteriorated part of El Centro in Medellín. In addition, the idea of Plaza Botero was proposed along with the museum.
To construct Botero Plaza, it was necessary to demolish an entire block of buildings located there. So, the demolition and construction of the plaza was accomplished in 1999 and 2000. The first stage of Botero Plaza was inaugurated in 2000. Finally the complete inauguration took place in 2001, with the current 23 statues.
Four additional Botero statues can be found in the nearby Parque Berrio and San Antonio Plaza. And there are additional Botero statues in Museo de Antioquia.
Who is Fernando Botero?
Fernando Botero is a figurative artist and sculptor who was born in Medellín on April 19, 1932. Most notably, his signature style, known as “Boterismo”, depicts figures in large, exaggerated volume (chubby, full-figured or fat people). His is still alive and is considered the most recognized living artist in Latin America.
Botero’s first works were exhibited in Medellín in 1948. He moved to Bogotá in 1951. In 1953, he moved to Paris, where he spent time studying artwork in the Louvre. He also lived briefly in Florence, Italy where he studied the artwork of Renaissance masters. In the past several decades Botero has lived in Paris. And each year he spends about a month in his hometown of Medellín.
Botero has achieved international recognition for his paintings, drawings and sculptures, with exhibitions across the world. Botero has more than 50 exhibits in major cities worldwide. As of result of his fame and limited availability due to many art pieces donated to museums, his work can command selling prices in the millions of dollars.
Photos of all 23 Statues at Plaza Botero
The following are photos of all 23 Botero statues found at Plaza Botero in alphabetical order.
How to Get to Plaza Botero
Plaza Botero is conveniently located a very short walk from the Parque Berrio metro station on Line A. Or you can ask any taxi driver to take you to Plaza Botero or Museo de Antioquia.
During the day, there will be many tourists in the area taking photos. But still take care to watch your valuables. There is normally a noticeable police presence, so it is relatively safe. However, keep in mind that street crime is common in El Centro, particularly after dark.
Besides the statues at Plaza Botero, the open-air plaza is also home to a number of people selling everything from hats and sunglasses to souvenirs, and drinks to chewing gum.
Address: Carrera 52 and Calle 52, El Centro, Medellín
Parque and Plazas in Medellín
On the Medellin Guru website, we have looked at 10 different parks and plazas in the Medellín and Aburra Valley area:
- Parque Lleras – the top nightlife district in Medellín
- Parque Sabaneta – arguably the nicest park in the Medelllín metro area
- Piedras Blancas – an ecological park near Medellín worth visiting
- Plaza Botero – a popular outdoor plaza with 23 sculptures by Fernando Botero
- Plaza Cisneros – Parque de las Luces, Medellín’s Park of Lights in El Centro
- Jardín Botánico – the popular Medellín botanical gardens
- Parques Del Río – Medellín’s ambitious River Parks project along the Medellín River with the first stage open.
- Plaza San Antonio – a large plaza with four Fernando Botero sculptures and sometime has concerts
- Cerro el Volado – a huge park with incredible views of Medellín
- Cerro Pan de Azucar – a park with amazing views of Medellín
The Bottom Line: Plaza Botero
Plaza Botero is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Medellín. Most tourists that visit Medellín go to this plazz as well as Museo de Antioquia.
Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.