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Inside the Icon: The Doll

Tijuana’s most renowned piece of public art turns 25


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Her official title is Tijuana III Milenio, or Tijuana Third Millenium, but everyone knows her as “La Mona,” or “The Doll.” Measuring approximately 45 feet tall and weighing 18 tons, she stands in a canyon below Tijuana’s General Abelardo L. Rodriguez International Airport. Built to commemorate Tijuana’s centennial by self-taught architect and engineer Armando Muñoz Garcia in 1990, she celebrates her 25th birthday next year.

Her fingered pose takes obvious inspiration from the Statue of Liberty. The blue ribbon around her forearm, now faded and tattered, represents the Colorado River, and her extended pinky symbolizes Tijuana’s location, in the uppermost corner of Mexico.

Modeled after a former friend of his, she’s one of two megastatues designed by Muñoz. Her younger sister is a mermaid in Puerto Nuevo known as “La Sirena.”

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