Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Final Peril of Argentina: The Arts

The arts are huge in Argentina.  Even in times of fiscal crisis, the government generously endows its concert halls, and the results sing for themselves.  For example, the Teatro Colon looks like a train station and, given the six-hour operas performed there, is only slightly less entertaining than one.

Wherever you walk in Buenos Aires—and I do suggest that you walk—art and culture thrust themselves upon you.  Outside the Recoleta Cemetery, tango dancers dance, bodybuilders flex, and jewelers hawk their wares.  A few blocks away, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes provides free admission to those in search of expressionism, or you can stroll around the Floralis Generica, a giant metal flower in the United Nations Plaza.  The flower’s purpose is unclear, but given its location, one assumes it hates America.