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The Mysterious Green Men of La Candelaria

They've been called ghosts, memorials to the dead, even visiting extraterrestrials. They are the green men (and a few women) standing on rooftops and balconies in La Candelaria. They include a model, a shoeshiner, an acrobat, a musician (without his guitar) and others of unclear profession.


In fact, these figures were created by local artist Jorge Olave, who remains in the neighborhood, working in his shop on Carrera 3 between Calle 12c and 12d. (Look for the fisherwoman on his balcony and the t-shirt shop on the street.) Olave made the figures during the 1990s with financing from the local government. He put out a call for volunteers, he said, and got more than he could possibly put on rooftops.

During the ensuing decades many of the figures have gotten damaged by sun, wind and rain, and some have been removed, leaving about a dozen. Olave has recently made more figures, including the fisherwoman and a unicyclist in La Plaza del Chorro. But he has had trouble getting permission to put the others up, and so they wait patiently in the parking lot of the neighborhood's local city hall.

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Guest Tuesday, 21 October 2014


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