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Santiago Matamoros


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On my visit to the cathedral last week I noticed that the Statue of Santiago Matamoros made by José Gambino, which is located in a niche close to the chapel of St. Catherine in the left transept, is halfway covered by flowers.
The result is that the beaten Moors at the lower part of the statue can't be seen. That reminded me of the heated debate of the year 2004 when the chapter of Santiago's cathedral decided to remove the statue in order not to cause any irritation to Muslims.
I don't know if they ever did remove the statue and later returned it to its place or if it stayed there after the protest.


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Past OR future Camino
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
I don't think the statue was ever removed, certainly in 2005 the slaughtered Moors were not covered at all. Though later I did hear about the debate, and understand that covering the lower half of the statue with flowers was the compromise.

John Hussey

Active Member
JohnnieWalker said:
the flowers seems like a good diplomatic solution to me!

I don't believe history should ever beg forgiveness for its past, nor should succeeding generations attempt to shroud those portions of it that may offend the shifting sensibilities of the day.


This statue should be shown without flowers and without politically correct guilt related to the victory over the Moors.The Moors were an invading army which were brutal in their conquest of Spain.They then went on to occupy Spain for hundreds of years before eventually being thrown out.All this is fact.Keep the statue and be proud of your history.
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Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Jacob the fisherman evolved into the archetypal hero of Western culture. From Sant’ Iago Matamoros - killer of the Moors; to Sant’ Iago Mataindios - killer of Indians; to Sant’ Iago Mataespañois - killer of Spaniards, which should be reason enough for the 'Moors' to hail him as their own hero!
In Mexico City there is a carving from the altarpiece of the Church of Santiago Tlatelolco showing him as Santiago Mataindios - the Indian-slayer.
And although Christianity and the Catholic religion were taken to the Americas by the Spaniards, when Mexico fought to obtain its independence from Spain in 1810, Sant’ Iago was exalted as Santiago Mataespañois - the slayer of Spaniards! In Peru, during an indigenous uprising in 19th-century they adopted Santiago as its champion, using the "Matamoros" iconography of “Santiago Mataespañois” that in Peru had come to be associated with a pre-Columbian deity who drove out evil forces.
There is a mid-19thC silver statue of Santiago Mataespañois in the Museum of Pilgrimages in Santiago de Compostela. ... tiago.html

and another one – scroll down to under Ano 1998 - (as well as pictures of items from the museum) here:

You can see the altarpiece of Santiago Mataindios here (click on the photo to enlarge it) ... 00004.html

You can see paintings of Santiago Matamoros and Mataindios together here:


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