Mexico Gets Independence Monument 1½ Years Late

Published January 8, 2012 2:54AM (EST)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's president has inaugurated a soaring monument that was supposed to be ready for the country's 2010 independence bicentennial, but came in way over budget and nearly 1½ years late.

Some Mexicans have suggested the quartz-clad light tower be dubbed "the monument to corruption." Costs nearly tripled to the equivalent of about $75 million, and improprieties in contracting resulted in criminal charges against four public employees.

Still the 343-foot (104-meter) tall tower drew "oohs" and "aahs" from a crowd of a few hundred people who gathered to watch the inauguration on Mexico City's main boulevard.

A series of columns supports panels of quartz, which are backlighted in changing patterns by LED panels.

By Salon Staff

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