This ministerial directive, Resolución Ministerial Nº 2273-70-ED, dated September 10, 1970, was published in the government backed newspaper El Peruano. The resolution was a nationwide call for submissions for a painting competition first aimed at acquiring and then at perpetuating an image of José Gabriel Condorcanqui, better known as Túpac Amaru II (Cusco, Peru, 1738–81), the indigenous forefather of independence.
This document announces one of the most controversial painting competitions held in the seventies; it was organized after the enactment of a law that mandated the presence of an image of Túpac Amaru II in all public offices [on that subject, see in the ICAA digital archive “Declaran de interés nacional la erección de un monumento a Túpac Amaru en Plaza de Armas, Cuzco” (doc. no 1139054)]. Túpac Amaru II was a curaca or chief of Incan descent who, in 1780, led the most important Andean uprising against the Spanish empire. Largely ignored by traditional Spanish-American historiography, his figure was the emblem of the so-called Gobierno Revolucionario de las Fuerzas Armadas during its first period (1968–75), which was characterized by social reform and by an interest in symbolic representation.
Although the competition rules were harshly criticized, about ninety-eight artists submitted work, undoubtedly attracted by the significant prize money and massive recognition. Four months later, the jury, which consisted of seven authorities from Peruvian museums and other cultural institutions, declared the competition null and void, which deepened the controversy.
[For further reading on Túpac Amaru II, see the following articles in the archive: by General EP Felipe de la Barra “¿Cómo fue Túpac Amaru?” (865441); (unsigned) “Convocan a concurso: monumento a Túpac Amaru se levantará en el Cuzco” (1053438); by Alfredo Arrisueño Cornejo “Declaran desierto el Concurso de Pintura ‘Túpac Amaru II’” (865498); (unsigned) “En busca de la imagen arquetípica de Túpac Amaru” (865702); by Daniel Valcárcel “El retrato de Túpac Amaru” (1052165); and by A. O. Z. “Túpac Amaru: ¿verdadero retrato?” (865460)].