A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

A Monument, An Audi & A Cop
Monday, October 21, 2013







Some 7 or 8 years ago when Nora Patrich was still in Vancouver she was commissioned by the Argentine Government to design a monument. It was to commemorate those Argentines who died (estimated at 362 and 800 wounded) on the Plaza de Mayo, next which is the Casa Rosada, the official seat of government, during strafing and bombing by aircraft of the Argentine Air Force and Navy at 12:40 on the 16th of June 1955.

A very large crowd was gathered there to support President Juan Perón. The air strike took place during a day of official public demonstrations which condemned the burning of a national flag allegedly carried out by detractors of Perón during the recent procession of Corpus Christi. The action was to be the first step in an eventually aborted coup d'état.

The coup d’état was indeed aborted but it became the initiation of the end of Juan Perón. On September 16 his government faced a revolt by a military group headed by General Eduardo Lonardi, General Pedro E. Aramburu and Admiral Isaac Rojas. Three days later Perón fled up the Paraná River in a Paraguayan gunboat ARP Paraguay. 


The bombing like most other events in Argentine history is seen differently in what is still a polarized country divided by a landed and rich aristocracy who saw and see the bombing as an event that marked the beginning of the expulsion of a dictator. Those on Perón’s side (a big majority of Argentines even now) saw and see it as tragedy.

Originally the monument (Patrich confesses, usually with a smile the influence of Canadian aboriginal totem poles as inspiration) was to stand on the beautiful and large Plaza de Mayo but regulations are strict in keeping the square with the look of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Patrich’s monument now stands behind the Casa Rosada in the courtyard of the beautiful new Museo del Bicentenario (1810-2010) commemorating the 200th anniversary of an event, on the 25th of May of 1810 that marked the beginning of Las Provincias del Río de La Plata in becoming what it is now, República Argentina.

Patrich took me to see her monument this past October. I also got to see the museum. I took some pictures of the monument and of Patrich by it. You might note some damage to one side. The damage has an interesting story. A story that could have been written by Borges had Borges expressed less repressed sexual feelings.

Sometime in September in the middle of the night a gentleman in an Audi A-4 was driving a bit recklessly and he missed a curve and ran into the fencing of the museum courtyard. The car lifted the fencing and pushed it forward to stop at the monument where some small damage happened at the base.

The man, slightly under the influenced emerged from his car with his pants falling. A woman was seen in the passenger seat. This is the official story.

I found out that there is more to the story from the horse’s mouth (perhaps a dog as cops are called canas in Argentina).

Patrich had to see to some documents inside the Casa Rosada (she is friends with President Cristina Kirchner). The folks at security told me that my camera (with film inside) had to go through the X-ray machine. I decided to wait in the courtyard where I had a chat with the very pleasant policeman called Bentancourt. I mentioned the monument and that I was a friend of the sculptor who was inside. He got very excited. This is his story as I recall it:




I was on guard duty that very night. At around 4 in the morning we heard the screech. I looked out of the window and saw the car come crashing in. The man got out of his car wit his pants down. His companion had been performing oral sex and in the excitement he missed the curve. When he saw me he told me, “Sony, you should buy a car like this one. I recommend it. Look, nothing happened to me.” Can you imagine the man telling me to buy a car like that when I can barely on my policeman’s salary afford a motor scooter!

The incident was never reported by the press.




     

Previous Posts
Dos Artistas Y Un Galerista

Este Sendero No Se Bifurca

Las Night I Dreamt I Was Eva Perón

Then, Then & Now

Nunca Se Sabrá - No One May Ever Know

My Polo Pony Grippe

Vuelvo Al Sur

La Noche Boca Arriba

Inesita & Liberty

Fundación Mítica De Buenos Aires



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7/17/16 - 7/24/16

7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17