Eva âEvitaâ Duarte PerÃ³n, one of the most important women in Argentinaâs history and forever immortalized on stage and in film, has her own museum in Buenos AiresâMuseo Evita. Built by the Carabassa family in the 1900s, the building originally served as a petit hotel. The original French architecture was later remodeled to incorporate Spanish and Italian Renaissance features, popular in the 1920s. Eventually, the house was purchased by the Eva PerÃ³n Social Aid Foundation and the museum was inaugurated in July 26, 2002, on the 50th anniversary of Evaâs death.
Housing an assortment of film clips, pictures, speech recordings, and personal artifacts, the museum is a reverential shrine that pays homage to the late Mrs.PerÃ³n. Thirteen permanent exhibition rooms and one temporary display room trace the life of Eva, from her childhood through her youth as an actress, and then her most famous roles as social activist and the First Lady to Argentina president Juan PerÃ³n.
As figurehead to the Eva PerÃ³n Foundation, Eva PerÃ³n initiated countless crusades for social justice and equality. Impressive exhibits outline her relentless fight for causes including female civil rights and orphanages. She led the foundation until her resignation and death, when she was only in her early 30s; her body was kidnapped, interred in Italy, and finally returned to Argentina. For those lacking in Spanish skills, handy cards provide translations of the film clips in English. The museum showcases the macabre events that followed her untimely death. Perhaps the most bizarre piece in the collection is a replica of the original death mask featured in the memorial commissioned by her husband.
Not far away in Recoleta Cemetery you can join the daily procession of people who make the pilgrimage to the polished black granite Duarte family vault where Evita is interred. It is never without flowers left by her faithful admirers. To complete the homage to Eva,visit Casa Rosada in Plaza de Mayo Square, gaze at the balcony, and imagine the square packed with throngs of adoring worshipers listening, and crying, as she gave her farewell speech, âDonât Cry For Me Argentina.â Before visiting Argentina, travelers should consider watching the 1997 film, Evita, in which Madonna played Evita, so they can compare the Hollywood version with the more factual Argentine version.
Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Phone: 54 11 4807 0306
E-mail: contacto(at) museoevita.org