This bust of Juana Azurduy de Padilla is made from bronze and mounted on a striated sandstone plinth. Azurduy de Padilla wears a high collared coat with patterns around the collar. The surface of the bust appears quite rough and fabrication marks can be seen.
It faces east and is located in the Plaza Iberoamericana on Chalmers Street, close to Central Station. It is one of a series of busts of famous Latin American heroes on display in the plaza commemorating the contribution of Spanish and Portuguese speaking people to the history of Australia.
Juana Azurduy de Padilla (1781-1862) fought in the Bolivian wars for independence. When Bolivia declared its independence in 1809, her husband and herself raised a small army to fight for an independent republic. Her husband was killed early into the war, but Juana Azurduy de Padilla continued to fight against royalist forces until Bolivia became an independent republic in 1826 when Spanish forces were finally overthrown.
Juana Azurduy had managed to form a small “republiqueta” (little republic) with the territory her small army held. This republiqueta was basically under siege from 1810 until 1825 when other republican armies under Simon Bolivar were able to join her remote forces.
The bust was sculptured by V. Zapana from La Paz, Bolivia, whose name is engraved on the lower right side of the bust.
The bust is believed to have been installed in the Plaza Iberoamericana in 1994-95. It is associated with the Bolivian community in Australia.
An inscription on the plinth reads: “JUANA AZURDUY DE PADILLA / 12.07.1780-25.05.1862 / GUERILLA FIGHTER FOR / THE INDEPENDENCE OF BOLIVIA FROM SPANISH RULE”.