A massive bronze art put on display Thursday in downtown San Diego has already done what the artist had hoped it would - open up dialogue.
San Diego is the first city in the U.S. to showcase a bronze exhibit by Mexican sculptor, Rivelino which addresses the right of free speech.
“Our Silences” is made up of 10 bronze figures weighing approximately a ton each.
Each figure has a metal plate covering its mouth, representing the importance of freedom of expression.
“What this exhibit is about is precisely about making anyone who sees this anywhere in the world to understand is that it’s important for them to say what they think, to say what they feel,” Rivelino said.
With one important exception, he added, “Freedom of expression does not mean freedom of aggression.”
The exhibit also includes a "touch box," a cubic sculpture made of steel with smaller pieces based on the larger figures.
The sculpture has toured many cities around the world where it creates a different experience based on the local landscape.
Rivelino said in the three days of setting up the exhibit, his staff has faced 3,000 questions.
"That is just a sample of what will happen over the two months that this exhibit will be here," he said.
The Consulate General of Mexico partnered with the Port of San Diego to bring the exhibit to San Diego as a way to raise awareness about Mexican art in the U.S.
“For San Diego to be the first city, the stop in the US, I think speaks volumes,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer at Thursday’s installation.
The project also aims at strengthening common grounds between the two nations.
"Our Silences" will remain on display until March 15 in Ruocco Park at the corner of Harbor Lane and Pacific Highway in downtown.