In Palermo you will find Evita Museum, one of the most visited museums in Buenos Aires. Eva Duarte de Perón, known all over the world as “Evita”, Argentina’s most important woman, has been transformed into a myth. Along with soccer player Maradona, writer Borges, revolutionary Che Guevara and tango singer Gardel, Evita has become one of Argentina’s reference points, a popular icon of our country.
As First Lady during the presidency of her husband Juan Domingo Perón, she assumed the important task of working for the rights of the most marginalized: workers, seniors, women and children.
+ THE LEGACY OF EVA PERÓN
As president of the Fundación Eva Perón, she worked tirelessly for each group.
– The Rights of Seniors, incorporated into the 1949 Constitution guaranteed their right to health care, a home, food and clothes.
– A social security net guaranteed workers a health care plan, a minimum wage, paid vacations and a pension.
– Her project to give women the vote became law in 1947.
– She created Ciudad Evita (Evita City) offering affordable mortgages to people with low incomes; her Foundation also constructed twelve hospitals throughout the country, over one thousand schools, a Students’ City and university cities.
– She established Women’s Shelters (Hogares de Tránsito) for women and children who stayed until work and a home could be found for them.
– She worked to reform the penitentiary system, especially for women (who were given job training and were no longer separated from their young children).
A victim of cancer, she died at age thirty-three on July 26, 1952. Millions paid her homage during her state funeral. After the coup d’état that deposed General Perón in 1955, the military took her body to Italy where it was buried under the name of Maria Maggi de Magistris. After being returned to her family, her body was laid to rest in the Duarte mausoleum, now the most visited tomb of the Recoleta cemetery.
Unfortunately, the military regime destroyed or stole as many of the Foundation’s works as possible, including buildings and warehouses full of goods for the poor.
+ THE EVITA MUSEUM
Inaugurated on July 26, 2002, the fiftieth anniversary of Evita’s death, the Evita Museum seeks to pay her homage, retell her story and separate the myth from the truth in the life and work of this great woman. The Museum tries to recuperate that part of Argentina’s political and social history that the military coup in 1955 tried so desperately to destroy (making it a crime for people to pronounce the names of Perón and Evita in public and to keep any photos of them in their homes by implementing Decreto Ley N°4161, with large fines and prison sentences ranging from thirty days to six years).
The Museum is located in Buenos Aires’ Palermo neighborhood and is housed in the beautiful “Casa Carabassa,” designed by the renowned architect Estanislao Pirovano. The Fundación Eva Perón bought the building in the early 1950s, renovated it and converted it into the Hogar de Tránsito N° 2, a temporary home for women and children.
Visitors will find the a rich collection of objects that belonged to Evita, as well as books, magazines, original and official documents, photographs and videos that portray her life and work. Some have been donated by her family and others are given to the Museum by people who hid them during the years of the military dictatorship. Artifacts include toys, books, sewing machines, and calendars.
Evita’s clothes, hats and shoes are displayed in exhibits that are constantly changed. On display is the gown she wore when she met Pius XII in Rome in 1947 as well as the tailored suits she wore to work every day.
Documents include the identity document that allowed her to vote (women voted for the first time in the presidential election in 1951-and elected women to the Senate and Chamber of Deputies). Other documents refer to her work in the fields of social justice, education, healthcare and the fight against poverty.
The Evita Museum is the most popular in Buenos Aires, the most visited by Argentines and international tourists.
Evita inspired deep love and profound hate. The Museum deals with the “White Myth” and the “Black Myth” regarding her life and her accomplishments.
Other exhibits include her childhood, her career (she was a theater, radio and cinema actress) and her funeral.
On the first floor the exhibits are dedicated to her political activity: October 17 (when a workers’ movement restored Perón to power), her life as First Lady, Women’s Vote, the 1949 Constitution and the Fundación Eva Perón.
One exhibit recreates the kitchen of the “Hogar de Tránsito N° 2, including its cupboards, silverware and the artifacts of the kitchen (you can see a photograph of the original kitchen on the wall).
+ A LIVING MUSEUM
The Evita Museum is not static. As its guides explain (in various languages, including English), it is a “living museum.” The permanent exhibit is changed and updated each year and the different temporary exhibits are changed every two or three months (they include art exhibits and activities like a Peronista book fair, conferences and academic discussions).
+ LIBRARY, BOUTIQUE, RESTAURANT AND BAR
The Museum also houses the INIHEP (the Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas Eva Perón). Its library and archives are open to the public.
The boutique offers souvenirs for those who wish to take something away with them.
You can complete your visit with a gourmet meal inside the restaurant or outside on a charming patio.
+ SCHEDULES AND GETTING TO EVITA MUSEUM
The Evita Museum is located at 2988 Lafinur Street in Palermo.
– You can arrive by metro D (subway, D line) and get off at Plaza Italia station.
– These buses will also take you to the Evita Museum: 12, 29, 36, 39, 55, 68, 111, 152, (on Santa Fe Avenue) and the 10, 15, 37, 41, 59, 60, 64, 93, 95, 108, 110, 118, 128, 141, 160, 188 (on Las Heras Avenue).
The Evita Museum is open from Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 A.M. to 7 P.M. It is closed on Mondays, on January 1, May 24 and 25, and December 31.
The Restaurant-Bar is open every day from 9 A.M. to 12:30 A.M. The patio is heated so it can be enjoyed even in winter.
– Take your camera with your batteries charged and a spare because you will probably take a lot of pictures (no flash allowed).
– Music is great company.
– Give yourself plenty of time because there is a lot to see.
– Take a coffee break and enjoy the Museum’s delicious coffee.
– Be sure to visit the boutique with its unique and creative items.
+ WHERE TO STAY IN PALERMO
You have various options, depending on your budget. For those who prefer total privacy, the best option is to rent an apartment in Palermo. If you want direct contact with other tourists as well as a place where you can share experiences and save money, the best option is a Hostel in Palermo. A Bed and Breakfast would be a less economical option.