TripAdvisor ranks Buenos Aires, Argentina, #13 among its current Top 25 Destinations in the World. The Eve Perón Museum is there.
41% of Argentinians are under the age of 24. There are more Internet-connected computers in Argentina than in Canada. Argentinians still pride themselves on their European origins and love anything French. Buenos Aires reportedly has more psychiatrists than any other city in the world. This information was in Variety, the show biz publication, this month. Because the source was the entertainment industry, there was, of course, information about that.
Animated Hollywood films are extremely popular in Argentina and top its box office, most recently Wreck-It Ralph. In many countries American series dominate prime time. Not in Argentina. Soaps, love comedies, etc. made in-country rule. U.S. shows like The Simpsons are somewhat popular. Theater attendance grew 35% in 2012 because Argentinians love to go out to movies.
While 92% of Argentinians claim to be Roman Catholic, less that 20% practice their faith. Perhaps Pope Francis, born in Buenos Aires in 1936 and currently the world’s most talked about Argentinian, will affect this.
TripAdvisor, the new Pope, and this article got me to thinking about another well-known Argentinian–Eva “Evita” Perón. A successful revival of the musical Evita starring Ricky Martin made it to Broadway last year.
Ruth and I were in Buenos Aires shortly after the controversial Eva Perón Museum opened in an Italian Renaissance mansion in the Palermo neighborhood. We were among its first visitors. Evita’s grandniece was largely responsible for this museum. Because Eva was both loved and hated in her own country, it took the family 50 years to get the museum up and running.
The Eva Perón Museum we experienced didn’t avoid the fact that she was both idolized & despised. Her death mask was prominently featured with a newsreel of her funeral procession. Projected on a wall with mirrors on either side, the footage made the crowd look 3 times bigger than it was. When she died in 1952 at the age of 33, some citizens scrawled “Hurrah for cancer” on walls.
Artifacts & info abounded in all rooms–Eva’s First Communion missal, book covers with her looking like a haloed saint, quotes from her autobiography, etc. Period magazine covers showed her as a glamorous model and actress. There wasn’t much about Juan Perón other than brief historical details, like the fact that Eva met him during the relief effort after an earthquake struck San Juan.
It’s not a great museum but certainly worth seeing since few museums focus so intently on one female historical figure.
p.s. the picture of Eva above is from Google