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San Jose Sights

Centro Nacional de la Cultura (National Cultural Center)

  • C. 13, Avdas. 3–5 Map It
  • Barrio Otoya
  • Arts/Performance Venue

Updated 04/10/2014

Fodor's Review

Rather than tear it down, the Ministry of Culture converted the sloped-surface, double-block 1853 Fábrica Nacional de Licores (National Liquor Factory) into this 14,000-square-meter cultural center, with government offices, two theaters, and a museum. It might seem strange that the liquor factory was state-run, but the government here also owns the light and water utility, phone company, Internet service provider, bank, insurance, and hospital. The National Liquor Factory was housed here until 1981, when it moved to a modern facility in the Central Valley. The stone-block storage depot next to the water towers at the southeast side of the complex became the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo. A stone gate and sundial grace the entrance nearest the museum. The complex sits amid government offices, at the point where downtown's northern reaches fade into the more residential neighborhood of Barrio Otoya.

Teatro FANAL. The metal Teatro FANAL hosts frequent theater and

music performances. 2222–2974.

Teatro 1887. The clay-brick theater dedicates itself to performances by the National Dance Company. What is now the theater's lobby was once a chemical testing lab. 2222–2974.

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Sight Information


C. 13, Avdas. 3–5, San José, 10101, Costa Rica

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Sight Details:

  • Weekdays 8–5, Sat. 10–5

Updated 04/10/2014


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Fodorite Reviews

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Nov 30, 2007


I am writing regarding the horrifying actions of Guillermo Habacuc Vargas,who paid local children to catch a dog on the street and then confined,starved and publicly displayed the dog as an "art" exhibit until the innocent animal died of starvation. I along with many people world wide am outraged that Guillermo habacuc Vargas has been selected to represent Costa Rica in "Bienal Centroamericana Honduras 2008",This man is by no definition of the

word an artist he is a criminally insane sadist and enjoys inflicting prolonged suffering upon his innocent victims.he is a danger to all of society as it is well documented that those with the capacity to intentionally cause harm to an animal have the same capacity to harm humans. To state that this animal would have died eventually of natural causes is unjustifiable and beyond logical,rational thinking. To allow Guillermo habacuc Vargas to represent Costa Rica in Bienal Centroamericana Honduras 2008 will in no way benefit Costa Rica,the world is watching and the actions of this so called artist has brought much negative assumptions as to the humanity of the people of Costa Rica and the fact that the many witnesses of this animals suffering did nothing and that the organizers of this event allowed this rather than taking action to see that Guillermo Vargas be criminally charged with animal abuse is sending the world a message that Costa Rica consists of a cruel,uncivilized society that has no regard for life but enjoys viewing and contributing to the loss of life. Each and every person who knew of and witnessed the suffering of this innocent dog is equally as guilty of causing it's uncalled for death. And to let this crime go unpunished and instead be awarded by Guillermo Vargas representing Costa Rica in Bienal Centroamericana Honduras 2008 is unacceptable and shameful not only to Costa Rica but to all participants of this event. I urge you,do not condone the heinous actions of Guillermo Vargas by allowing him to participation in Bienal Centroamericana Honduras 2008.He should be jailed and prosecuted to the fullest extent of law for this animals death,not representing Costa Rica as an artist for he is not an artist and to refer to him as such is an insult to all true artists. I am an artist...THIS IS NOT ART.

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