Artist: Unknown
Date Installed
Installed 1989
Chalmers St Path, 5010 Chalmers Street, SURRY HILLS, 2010
Project: Ibero American Plaza
Tags: Bronze, Multicultural

Artwork Description

The bust of Colombian national hero Antonio Narino is made from bronze and stands approximately 20 centimetres high. It is placed on sandstone plinth of 1.5 metres tall by 0.5 metres wide. It is one of a series of busts of famous Latin American heroes on display in Plaza Iberoamericana on Chalmers Street commemorating the contribution of Spanish and Portuguese speaking people to the history of Australia.


Antonio Narino was born in Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia in 1765 and died in the small town of Villa de Leiva in 1823. He was educated in philosophy and law. This background established the fundamentals of an independence that served as the liberating force for Colombia. Narino was influenced by the ideas of the French Revolution and translated into Spanish ‘the Declaration of the Rights of the Man and Citizen’. For this he was imprisoned and then exiled to Spain, but later escaped.

While in Europe (mainly France and England), Narino sought support for the ‘Criollo’ movement. He actively took part in all the struggles for Colombian independence until the Constitution of the first republic. He intervened in the conception of the Constitution and put in motion the first institutions as an independent nation. He is known as the precursor of Colombian independence.


This bust was presented to City of Sydney Lord Mayor, Jeremy Bingham and members of the Council by the Consul-General of The Republic of Colombia, Dr. Ciro Alfonso Arevalo Yepes. At the time, Yepes stressed that the valuable contribution from the Colombian community of Sydney through fundraising events had made the commission of the statue possible. It was unveiled on 16 March 1991.


A plaque on the sandstone plinth reads: “Antonio Narino / (1765-1823) / National hero of the Republic of Colombia. / Philosopher and man of law who advocated and / defended liberal ideals and translated for the / first time the universal declaration of the / rights of man and citizen, which served as the torch for liberty and independence of the nation.”


Louella McCarthy and Paul Ashton (eds.), Sydney Open Museum Historical Survey, Sydney City Council, 1994, item 21, pp 139-162, liv-lx

Ibero American Plaza

First conceived in 1986 as a Bicentennial project, the Plaza Ibero Americana began as an idea to acknowledge the contribution of Spanish and Portuguese-speaking people to the history of Australia.

It was opened in 1988 and remodelled in 2000.

Located on Chalmers Street, Surry Hills, the Plaza Ibero Americana consists of two statues and 11 busts representing significant historical figures and Latin American national heroes.

It features a series of busts donated by nations including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Spain, the Philippines, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Uruguay and Venezuela.

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