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Fodor's Buenos Aires
Museo Evita Review
Eva Duarte de Perón, known universally as Evita, was the wife of populist president Juan Domingo Perón. She was both revered by her working-class followers and despised by the Anglophile oligarchy of the time. The Museo Evita shies from pop culture clichés and conveys facts about Evita's life and works, particularly the social aid programs she instituted and her role in getting women the vote. Knowledgeable staffers answer questions enthusiastically.
Photographic Evidence. The route through the collection begins in a darkened room screening footage of hundreds of thousands of mourners lining up to see Evita's body. Family photos and magazine covers document Evita's humble origins and time as a B-list actress. Upstairs there's English-subtitled footage of Evita's incendiary speeches to screaming crowds: her impassioned delivery beats Madonna's hands down.
Death Becomes Her. The final rooms follow Evita's withdrawal from political life and her death from cancer at age 33. A video chronicles the fate of Evita's cadaver: embalmed by Perón, stolen by political opponents, and moved and hidden for 17 years before being returned to Argentina, where it now rests in the Recoleta Cemetery.
Fabulous Clothes. Evita's reputation as fashion plate is reflected in the many designer outfits on display, including her trademark working suits and some gorgeous ball gowns.
Tips and Trivia
Laminated cards with just-understandable English translations of the exhibits are available in each room and at the ticket booth.
Plan time for a post-museum coffee (or lunch) at the museum café's outside tables, shaded by classy black umbrellas. There's also a small gift shop.
The gray-stone mansion dates from 1909. It was purchased in 1948 by the Fundación de Ayuda Social Eva Perón (Eva Perón Social Aid Foundation) and converted into a home for single mothers, to the horror of the rich, conservative families living nearby.
The Evita myth can be baffling to the uninitiated. The museum's excellent guided visits shed light on the phenomenon and are available in English, but must be arranged by phone in advance.
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