A Colossal Statue of Shakira Now Towers Over Her Colombian Hometown

Wherever, whenever you look to the Barranquilla skyline, the 21-foot statue is there.

The Shakira statue in Barranquilla, Colombia. Photo: @Shakira on Instagram.

The port city of Barranquilla in Colombia has unveiled a monumental statue to its native daughter, Shakira, the singer-songwriter and bestselling female Latin artist of all time. 

Towering at some 21 feet, the bronze statue depicts the “Hips Don’t Lie” musician in the midst of her signature belly dance, the edges of her red skirt cast in a contrasting aluminum and molded to resemble the waves of the neighboring Magdalena River. Her arms, entwined above her head, will house a light.

A plaque at the base of the sculpture reads in Spanish: “A heart that composes, hips that don’t lie, an unmatched talent, a voice that moves the masses, and bare feet that march for the good of children and humanity.” 

“I am very excited about this tribute to Colombian women and Barranquilleras inside and outside my land!” Shakira wrote in an Instagram post. She added in a statement: “All barranquillero and barranquillera are my brothers and sisters and the inspiration of my life since my childhood.”

The statue was designed and crafted by local sculptor Yino Márquez, who was picked by the city’s mayor Jaime Pumarejo to create a waterfront tribute to the singer. Márquez spent five months on the sculpture, with Shakira herself attending the process in person so he could best capture her likeness. 

“Shakira is a symbol of effort, discipline and progress. For me, she is a fighter,” Márquez told the New York Times. He added of the work: “It was a monumental task. I think that in the end it is much more than we expected.” 


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Shakira was born and raised in Barranquilla, where she began performing at the tender age of 13. Since then, the musician has sold more than 95 million records, been feted at the Grammy and Billboard Music Awards, and frequently dubbed the “Queen of Latin Music.” Her 2023 track, “TQG,” recorded in collaboration with Karol G, broke the Guinness World Record for the highest-charting Spanish language track (female) on the Billboard Hot 100. 

Shakira’s hometown has stayed close to her heart: her Pies Descalzos Foundation, which she established at age 19, has built children’s schools in the city, just as Fundacion América Latina en Acción Solidaria, a coalition she co-founded in 2005, aims to alleviate poverty through integrated early childhood public policies. In 2020, Shakira donated 50,000 N-95 masks and 10 respirators to Barranquilla.

The city erected its first monument to Shakira in 2006, a 16-foot-tall Colombian iron sculpture designed by artist Dieter Patt. It is, however, now dwarfed by this new and towering statue. 

Since its unveiling on December 26 and ahead of its opening to the public, the statue has been enthusiastically received by Shakira’s fans. Some are lining up pilgrimages to visit the monument: “I almost rerouted my flight home just to go see the Shakira statue,” wrote one fan on X.

Others still are likening it to their own Statue of Liberty. “Shakira’s statue could hold the torch but the Statue of Liberty could never dance ‘Whenever, Wherever,'” tweeted one fan, while another decided: “We need to replace the Statue of Liberty with Shakira. Except larger.” 


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