19 February 2008

Plans for Che Guevara's monument

Last December I wrote about a monument to Ernesto "Che" Guevara. The news now says Che Guevara's monument will be ready and in place in about four months. The place is going to be the same as planned, Parque Yrigoyen, near the old Central Córdoba Station, south of downtown. The date will be June 14, the 80th anniversary of Guevara's birth.

The monument is a four-metre-tall statue depicting el Che in a combative pose, without weapons. It was made from bronze donated by some 14,000 people, often in the form of old keys. The statue will be made in Buenos Aires; a boat will carry it up the Paraná River, departing on May 30 and stopping several times along the way for public events. It will arrive on June 1 or 2, and it'll be installed, I guess, during the intervening fortnight until Guevara's birthday. The unveiling will be attended by people coming on a bus caravan from the Obelisco in BA, some representatives of the Argentine government, and envoys from Cuba.

Rosario, the birthplace of Guevara, has never had anything like this before — not even a museum. There'll be many voices against this monument and all the fuss around it, I know. I'll only repeat what I said in December: Guevara is part of our history and of world history. Ignoring him or refusing to acknowledge his influence would be stupid. Ideological blindness should not lead us to consider him just a revolutionary hero and a fighter for good causes, or just a fanatic and a murderer. The monument will serve everyone to remember that Che Guevara existed and had an effect on his generation, and to make visitors and local residents think about him.

Moreover, the city will profit from this. Tourists are always astonished to hear we have no "Museum of Che Guevara", and often disappointed when they see that Guevara's birth home looks just like any other house and the building is taken over by an insurance company. At least we'll have something to show them now, something big and shiny and three-dimensional that remembers a man no-one can afford to ignore.


  1. Anonymous03:40

    By your logic, there should be a Hitler monument in Austria and Stalin monument in Georgia.

  2. But there aren't, right? So my logic must be flawed... But then, why are they building the Che Guevara monument then? Maybe they're using another logic.

    I know! Let us go to Austria and ask around, why don't you have a Hitler monument? And in the meantime, do you have Hitler T-shirts for me to take as souvenirs?



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