Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva statue

Andrada statue, New York City, public art, Jose Otavio Correia Lima

Public Art: Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva statue (commonly known as the Andrada statue)

Sculptor: © Jose Otavio Correia Lima (1878-1974)

Description: A 9ft tall bronze statue of naturalist, poet and hero of Brazilian Independence Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva (June 13th, 1763-April 6th. 1838).

Date Unveiled: Andrada was dedicated on the 22nd April, 1955.

Location: The Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva statue is located along the Avenue of Americas in Bryant Park on 6th Avenue, Manhattan, New York City. It is one of six statues commemorating historical figures from the Americas. It was originally erected on the northwest corner of Bryant Park  but was moved in the 1990's to its present location.

Background: The statue was a gift to the City of New York by the Brazilian government following a competition.

Acknowledgements: Thank you to David Westerman and Heidi Armstrong from State Custodians for kindly providing the photographs.

So who was Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva? :

Andrada was born in Santos, Sao Paulo (then part of the Portuguese Empire) on the 13th of June, 1763.

In 1800 he was appointed professor of geology at Coimbra (Portugal) and shortly after inspector general of the Portuguese mines.

In 1812 he was made the perpetual secretary of the Sciences Academy of Lisbon.

During his time living in Europe, Andrada studied chemistry and mineralogy and discovered 4 new minerals including andradite, Petalite, spodumeme.

He returned to Brazil in 1819, at the age of 56, to basically retire but instead found himself  directing Brazil in its independence process.

During the Independence of Brazil, Andrada was made the minister of the interior and of foreign affairs.

He was instrumental in stopping Brazil splitting into various countries during their fight for independence. He prepared a document called "Lembrancas e Apontamentos" which provided a master plan for the new nation and covered in detail everything necessary for Brazil to build a strong social, political and economic life for the future.

In July 1823 he was dismissed from office due to his democratic ideals. A few months later, after the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly he was banished to France. He was permitted to return to Brazil 6 years later but found himself arrested in 1833 accused of being a traitor.

Jose Bonifacio is often referred to as the " Greatest Man in Brazilian History" and the "Patriarch of Independence"

Trivia:

Every year on the 7th of September the Brazilian government has a ceremony at the Andrada statue in Bryant Park. It is attended by 20 cadets of West Point and over 250 guests including the ambassadors of Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Colombia.

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