Las Edades de Bogotá Sculptures

Las Edades de Bogotá (The Ages of Bogota)

photography by: Omri Westmark

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In recent decades, the Colombian capital has relentlessly strived to improve its somewhat dubious reputation as a shabby place by adorning its streets with copious works of art. While many of the statues and murals have since inspired awe in both tourists and locals, others still languish in the shadow of their more famous counterparts. Despite their location along a busy road around the Central University, a series of quirky sculptures entitled “Las Edades de Bogotá” remain steeped in obscurity for years now.

Whether it is justified or not, Bogota has long been synonymous with high crime rates, traffic congestion and grittiness. It is for this reason that the city council embarked on a large-scale endeavor to revitalize the public space across town, encouraging artists to leave their marks on every humdrum corner and cranny.


Lying unassumingly on the busy intersection of Carrera 3 and Calle 22 is a cluster of odd-looking sculptures that draw little to no attention. While the nine limbless figures feature the same type of sculpted head, their 3-meter-tall torso varies in material as 6 are made of concrete whereas the other three are fashioned from brown-hued bricks.


To decipher these eccentric, anthropomorphic statues, one merely has to get hold of their name – “Las Edades de Bogotá” (The Ages of Bogota). Created in 1988 by Cuban-Colombian sculptor Galaor Carbonell with the help of high school students, the work marks the 450th anniversary of the Colombian capital as each figure represents 50 years of its history, hence their apt name.


Apart from their official interpretation, though, the sculptures are widely known by various other monikers that resonate with the work’s unusual appearance, including “the mummies” and “the aliens”. It is probably up to occasional gawkers to determine what those effigies are reminiscent of, yet one thing is almost certain, the statues’ decades-long anonymity is here to stay.