SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Tourists and locals are doing a double-take as they pass by the enameled iron structure that stands nearly 65 feet tall near West Commerce and Alamo Street.

Tourists are wondering why there’s scaffolding all around it.  A San Antonio man wondered why part of the enchilada-red “Torch of Friendship”  is now gray.

“Is it not structurally sound?” a woman wondered because of the scaffolding.  Actually, it’s being repainted and restored to its vibrant, red-orange color.

“I had no idea this was happening,” said Stephanie Perez as she walked by Wednesday.  She was hoping they wouldn’t leave the dull, gray color on it , but I assured her it was part of the repainting process.

“I like it. It brings a lot of color to downtown San Antonio,” she said.

Thousands drive by it or walk past the tall structure with what looks like a ribbon on top, but they don’t know what it represents.

A ground plaque on the sidewalk nearby explains what the sculpture is all about.

“La Antorcha de la Amistad ” or “Torch of Friendship” was created by Mexican sculptor Sebastian. A group of Mexican-American businessmen commissioned the work, which actually stands as a symbol of friendship between the United States, Mexico and Canada. It was given to San Antonio in 2002.

Centro Ambassador Cindi Manney says she gets a lot of questions about it.

“Tourists are fascinated by it, but they really don’t know what it is, so we spend a lot of time explaining it.  I enjoy it,” said Manney.


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