At her most combative, to the shock and disgust of neighbors, Eva Perón chose the affluent Botánico for the Hogar de Tránsito No. 2, a shelter for single mothers from the provinces. Even more galling, her Fundación de Ayuda Social María Eva Duarte de Perón took over an imposing three-story mansion to house the transients.
Since Evita’s 1952 death, middle-class apartment blocks have mostly replaced the elegant single-family houses and distinctive apartment buildings that then housed the porteño elite (many of them moved to northern suburbs).
Half a century later, on the July 26th anniversary of her death—supporting Tomás Eloy Martínez’s observation that Argentines are “cadaver cultists”—her great-niece María Carolina Rodríguez officially opened this professionally organized museum to “spread the life, work, and ideology of María Eva Duarte de Perón.”
What it lacks is a critical perspective to help, again in Rodríguez’s words, “understand who this woman was in the 1940s and 1950s, who made such a difference in the lives of Argentines“—a goal possibly inconsistent with her other stated aims. Rather than a balanced assessment, this is a chronological homage that sidesteps the issue of personality cults of both Evita and her charismatic husband.
The Museo Eva Perón (Lafinur 2988, tel. 011/4807-9433, www.museoevita.org , 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Tues.–Sun., US$3) has a museum store with a selection of Evita souvenirs and a fine café-restaurant as well. Guided English-language tours, bookable in advance, cost US$5.