There are certain milestones in a musician’s career, but it’s hard to argue against “llenar el Luna” being one of the biggest for any artist in Argentina. The Luna Park arena is legendary: it has that certain old-time charm that epitomizes Buenos Aires like few others can. From Rodrigo to Sinatra, the list of geniuses who have rocked the roof off of the place since it was built in 1932 is as diverse and magnificent as they come. It’s magic isn’t exclusive for music, though. As news outlet Diario Z perfectly laid out yesterday, it was at Luna Park that Perón and Evita met, where the wake for Carlos Gardel took place, and where Maradona got married. So yeah, it’s *kind* of a big deal in Argentine pop culture.
So imagine everybody’s surprise yesterday when it was revealed by Clarín that the Catholic Chuch (yes, this piece has the church, Sinatra and Maradona, and I haven’t even finished the second paragraph) has owned Luna Park since 2013 (more on that in a moment) is considering selling the building. Not only that, but rumors point to interest from a European investment firm who plans to buy the place for US $40 million and build an office building in its place.
Cue shocked GIF in 3, 2, 1:
It’s probably the right moment to give a little context. Turns out that when Ernestina Devecchi de Lectoure, the owner of Luna Park for five decades, died back in 2013 she left 95 percent of the place to both Caritas (that is run by the Buenos Aires Archbishop) and the Salesian Order of San Juan Bosco. The church actually bought the remaining 5 percent a while later, so they’ve had the whole Luna to themselves for a while now; rumors of their wishes to sell it have been around for nearly as long. There were even rumblings about a big multireligious building at some point for some reason.
However, hold your horses. For this thing to go down, a lot of things have to happen first. For one, the building was declared a National Historic Monument by Néstor Kirchner back in 2007, which means that neither the facade nor the inner structure can be altered. Not only that, but the whole area was declared of cultural interest in 2001 by the Buenos Aires Legislature which means that the Urban Code would need to be modified as well. So it’s one of those issues that involves not only private interests but a lot of political ones as well. Think about it, regardless of who wins the elections this year, who the hell wants to be the one in charge when an institution like Luna Park gets demolished?
Here’s to hoping that Luna Park keeps on rocking forever. We have enough office buildings and churches as is. Now cue Rodrigo at Luna Park dressed as a boxer before I lose my shit altogether, please.