For the second time in a few short years, South Miami welcomed Ivan Duque Marques to the Dante Fascell Park and the Colombia Sculpture Garden.

On Wednesday, July 13, 2022, Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez came to South Miami in acknowledgement of the work accomplished by the Sister-City program between Medellin and South Miami. Not only has the sculpture garden blossomed since his first visit in September 2019, yet another cultural program was presented this April with a one-day Feria de los Flores.

Spearheaded by South Miami Commissioner Josh Liebman, the City Commission adopted the resolution to establish a Sister-City with Colombia’s second largest city and appointed him as the first liaison between the two cities in March, 2018.

The Colombia Sculpture Garden is designed to highlight artists by gracing Dante Fascell Park with an Art in Public Places initiative. Artists Dr. Santiago Medina, Luis Jimenez, and Carlos Silva donated the original three sculptures created specifically for the park.

On President Duque’s first visit in September 2019, he was invited to dedicate the space for the sculpture garden. On this second visit, he participated in unveiling four new sculptures by artists Bernardo Montoya, Cristobal Gavira, Juan Meija, and Hugo Zapata.

In his remarks, the President noted Colombia’s 200 years as a nation and emphasized the shared values between the two nations and the importance of Florida as Colombia’s number one trading partner in the United States.

The persistence of Commissioner Liebman, the political will of the Mayor and Commissioner, and the goodwill of the people of Medellín usher in a new time for the City of South Miami. A quiet Miami suburb is moving to a wider world, one that is international, collaborative, and bursting with aesthetic, educational, and cultural initiatives. The spotlight shines on the City of Pleasant Living as we foster and embrace these initiatives.


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