Monumento al Descamisado – The dream that never came true in Buenos Aires

In 1951 Eva Perón, wife of the President of Argentina, conceived the idea of ​​erecting a monument to commemorate of October 17. The monument would consist of a gigantic statue of a worker. Beneath the statue, a grave would guard the remains of a shirtless man.

The Monument to the Shirtless, also known as the Monument to the Worker, the Monument to the Unknown Shirtless, the Monument to Eva Perón, and the Monument of Popular Gratitude was an unfinished architectural project of the second government of Juan Domingo Perón

Evita was personally involved in the project. He said he wanted the Monument to the Shirtless to be the tallest, the heaviest, the most expensive in the world, and to be seen from afar, like the Eiffel Tower. According to some versions, it would be a pharaonic work, 140 meters high, with a statue of 53 meters and 16 figures of 5 meters high each.

With Evita’s untimely death, the project was modified. On June 26, 1952, the Chamber of Deputies passed a law approving the erection of the memorial that would now be called the Monument to Eva Perón.

Rubén Darío Square, on the corner of Figueroa Alcorta and Austria, the place where the monument would have been erected / Image source

In place of the shirtless statue, a figure representing Evita would be placed on top of the building. The foundations of the new structure were completed, but the coup d’etat of September 1955 put an end to the draft.

On the same site, the Peronist government of María Estela Martínez de Perón tried in the 1970s to build a mausoleum called the Altar de la Patria but never completed. Currently, near in that place are the studios of Argentine Public Television.

The panoramic model of the monument: 1. is the Faculty of Derecho, 2. the presidential residence, 3. the edition of Automobile Club Argentino / Image: Archivo – Crédito: Diario Democracia  Image source

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