21 December 2007

El Che and his monument

Che Guevara mural in RosarioI was reading GoodAirs the other day and found the news about the monument to Ernesto Che Guevara. The monument is going to take up three tons of bronze, donated by thousands of people in the form of old keys and other objects, to sculptor Andrés Zerneri. I knew it had been decided to erect the monument here in Rosario, by a majority of votes of those who donated the bronze, but I didn't know when or where exactly.

So, digging a little bit, I found the plans for Che's 80th birthday celebrations at the Municipality of Rosario website. It turns out there'll be several days (June 12–15, 2008) with a schedule of various events, including the unveiling of the monument, which will be located within the recently finished Parque Yrigoyen, near the old Central Córdoba Station. It's not a prime visitor spot, being on the very edge of the macrocentric area, but it's along one of the major avenues of the city (27 de Febrero) and should be easily accessible.

I expect there'll be a lot of debate about the convenience of honouring el Che. Some consider him a terrorist and a murderer; others call him a brave freedom fighter; others disregard his ideology and his methods and somewhat shallowly admire his struggle for the cause he believed in; for most he's little more than an icon of rebellion. I have no position on this, feeling that this is a subject for reflection, not debate. Historical facts are clear enough for everybody to learn and decide.

The monument will settle a debt that the city has had with itself for decades — it will be a reminder of the life of one of its most notable children. There are monuments to, and streets and parks named after, much more sinister historical characters. Call me a heartless postmodernist on this, but I'd rather have a big statue of a controversial man that gets tourists here that not having anything. And if the whole celebration and the monument get more young disinformed people to go to the library and read history books, all the better.

1 comment:

  1. Clap, clap, clap.

    I read this post very interested, thinking "let's see what he has to say about Che". I was so happy when I saw such an objective, intelligent article. I couldn't have agreed more with everything you wrote.

    Great job, once again, and Merry Christmas!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.