Evita's portrait hung from Argentine ministry

AP News
Posted: Jul 26, 2011 9:44 PM
Evita's portrait hung from Argentine ministry

A giant iron portrait of Eva Peron was unveiled Tuesday on the front of Argentina's social development ministry, where she gave a historic speech prior to her death from cancer in 1952.

The 31-meter-high (102-feet-high), 24-meter-wide (79-feet-wide) work weighing 15 tons resembles the iconic portrait of Argentine revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Havana, Cuba.

Argentina President Cristina Fernandez, who inaugurated and backed the portrait, said it was during a visit to Cuba that it occurred to her to pay homage to the wife of former President Juan Domingo Peron.

"I saw an image of Che on the ministry building he worked in. How is it possible that a society pays tribute to a man who is not from that country and we have no tributes to a woman who not only marked the entry of women into politics and the country's most important social revolution, but who also represented the people and country with more passion than anyone in history," Fernandez said.

The portrait was unveiled at 8:25 p.m. local time, the hour when the woman knows as Evita died on July 26, 1952.

The portrait was created by Argentine plastic artists Daniel Santoro and Alejandro Marmo.

It hangs from the front of the ministry building on one of Buenos Aires' main avenues. It was here that Evita, with advanced cancer, announced on Aug. 22, 1951 that she was stepping down from her candidacy for the vice presidency on her husband's ticket.