Restoration Work in La Ballena Sculpture
Popularly known as “La Ballena y su Cría” (The Whale and Her Child), the real name of this sculpture located at the entrance of Marina Vallarta is “Ballena Vallarta”, a spectacular 12-meter-high work that is currently being restored.
Originally from Tepatitlán de Morelos, Jalisco, Octavio González Gutiérrez is the author of this bronze sculpture that was installed in the year 2000 thanks to the effort of outstanding citizens and businessmen of the destination.
González Gutiérrez shared that the last time maintenance work was done on the sculpture was about 17 years ago and he added: “I already had the intention of revising it, but it was Marina de los Santos, director of the Instituto Vallartense de Cultura (Vallartense Institute of Culture), whom summoned several sculptors of the destination to launch this renovation program, which will soon be extended to all the sculptures of the city.”
To restore “Ballena Vallarta”, the team headed by González Gutiérrez will first perform a series of welds to the various cracks that have appeared due to the weather and microvibrations that occur naturally. Subsequently, the entire old patina will be gradually laid down through an oxidation process with heat and acids. “These works do not represent any risk for sculpture, as they are only being done on the whale’s sheet or skin. The internal structure or skeleton can withstand winds of up to 400 km/h. After all these tasks, our goal is to leave it with the original color and finishes.”
González Gutiérrez took the opportunity to explain the meaning of this iconic sculpture located at Marina Vallarta: “This work is a tribute to all the women in the world, to all, but especially to my daughter. It means that women are the backbone of humanity, society and family. They are the ones who maintain balance and harmony. This is the woman.”
The restoration work, which currently has taken two weeks, is expected to be completed on December 18th, 2019. However, although the municipal government has provided some resources, donations that can be made through of the Asociación de Residentes de Marina Vallarta (Residents Association of Marina Vallarta), which will be used to purchase the various materials required.