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Gun imagery to remain in controversial 'vaquero' statue in Texas

February 23, 2012 |  8:30 am


Don't mess with Texas? How about, don't mess with Texan artists? A public sculpture planned for the city of Fort Worth will proceed as planned despite some controversy about the gun imagery contained in the design.

The Fort-Worth Star Telegram reported Tuesday the City Council gave its unanimous support for the artists' design for the sculpture titled "Vaquero de Fort Worth." Work on the sculpture stopped last year when some people objected to including the image of a gun in the sculpture.

The artwork depicts the "vaqueros," or Mexican cowboys, who played a prominent role in Texas history. The statue, which will stand 10 feet and be made of bronze, will feature a vaquero riding horseback.

Artist Tomas Bustos, who worked with David Newton on the sculpture, told the newspaper the inclusion of the gun "was accurate to the period. I'm hoping this will vindicate our actions." The depicted weapon in question is a Remington .44-caliber revolver.

Among those who objected to the design was Manuel Valdez, chairman of the Vaquero Project Core Committee, and other members of the committee who found no historic illustrations showing vaqueros with guns, according to the report. The committee was formed in 2004 to oversee the project.

The newspaper reported that statue is expected to be installed by May or June near Fort Worth's Marine Park.

Read more here: 


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-- David Ng

Photo: A vaquero in the 1917 movie "How the Cowboy Makes His Lariat." Credit: Bray Studios Inc.