A Rare Display of Eva Per??rtifacts

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By John Friia July 26 marked the 60th anniversary of her death, and starting next week, the Consulate General of Argentina is exhibiting 50 artifacts from her life that are on loan from the Museo Evita in Buenos Aires. The rare pieces include paintings, photographs and haute couture such as ball gowns, suits, dresses and shoes worn by Eva Perón. "There are 18 paintings and 18 photographs of Eva showing her in her official duties," said Ines Segarra, director of the Argentina Tourism Board. This is the first time these items have been on loan in New York and it also commemorates the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Museo Evita. Eva's great-niece, Maria Cristina Alvarez Rodriguez, honorary president of the Evita Perón Historical Research Foundation, founded the museum. The museum is part of the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Historicas Eva Perón, which researches her role in history by archiving documents, recording oral history and publishing investigative studies. Museo Evita once housed the shelter for women and children that were helped by Eva, and was used as a transitional home for women looking for employment and housing. "She was an icon for Argentineans, and a lightning rod. For people around the world, her good works brought attention to Argentina. Evita is very much a part of our heritage. She was respected for all the good that she did," Segarra said. Eva's supporters point to her efforts to help create a welfare safety net for seniors, single mothers and underprivileged children. She fought for women's suffrage and social security for the workers. "Evita: Passion and Action" is organized by famous Argentinean curator Gabriel Miremont and is sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism and other Argentinean agencies. The consulate and tourism ministry promote all aspects of Argentina. During this exhibit, the arts, culture and tourism are being promoted as people view the items once belonging to Perón. "Evita is one of the most iconic personifications of Argentina's culture, and by conveying her messages and her good works, we aim to bring our two countries together," Segarra hoped. She explained that the consulate regularly mounts exhibitions of Argentine artists such as painters, photographers and sculptors. Admission to these exhibits is always free. "Evita is a seminal figure for all Argentineans, whatever your political view. She was a visionary and quite ahead of her time. This is an occasion to share with the American people," Segarra said. "Evita: Passion and Action" runs Sept. 7 through 23 at the Consulate General of Argentina, 12 W. 56th St. Admission is free. The exhibit is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed on weekends except for Sept. 22 and 23, when it will be on display from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 212-603-0400.

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