Sculptures Along Lima’s Costa Verde
Walking along the sidewalk of Malécon Cisneros in Lima’s picturesque seaside district, Miraflores, you will find the iconic Parque del Amor with its larger-than-life sculpture of two lovers in a deep embrace called “The Kiss”. The monument to love, created by Peruvian artist Víctor Delfín, was erected on February 14, 1993—Valentine’s Day—when the park opened on the Costa Verde.
The park takes inspiration from whimsical designs by Spanish architect, Antoní Gaudí, particularly the famous Park Güell in Barcelona’s hilly Gràcia district. The wall flanking the park waves along the coast and is decorated with a ceramic mosaic in which quotes from Peruvian writers about love have been embedded like the first line of the poem “Poetry in A Major” by Limeñan writer Jorge Eduardo Wilson: “estupendo Amor AmAr el mAr”. The English translation does not quite do it justice, but it is enough to know the poem is about love (el amor) and the sea (el mar)—two elements that the Parque del Amor unites. Pass by the park at sunset and you will spot the silhouettes of lovers sitting along the wall, holding hands under a tree or, taking note from the sculpture, embracing for a kiss.
The sculpture is one of several contemporary works along the Costa Verde, created as part of an effort to beautify the city and bring art to the public. On the other end of the Puente Villena, the bridge that leads to the Parque del Amor, there is a rather formidable sculpture by artist Fernando de Szyszlo. Titled “Intihuatana”, the hitching post in Quechua, the stone sculpture pays homage to the culture that worshipped the sun, trying to capture it at the post. As Szyszlo explained during the inauguration, with Lima’s characteristic gray, overcast skies, a hitching post for the sun is necessary.
More recently, the colorful sculpture, “Silencio”, by José Tola was unveiled this past October in the park El Libro (The Book), farther north along the coast of Miraflores. Stretching seven meters (about twenty-three feet) into the air, the colorful totem inspired by the Pachacámac idol, has two faces, one looking east to search for the rising sun and the other looking west to watch it disappear below the horizon.
A late afternoon stroll along the Costa Verde of Miraflores offers more than views of the Pacific Ocean stretching long into the distance; art and nature go hand and hand here, like the two lovers in the Parque del Amor forever embracing each other as if one.