Hold on tight Casa Rosada… big changes are coming. Decoratively, that is, as President Mauricio Macri plans to convert the presidential palace from what government sources called a “populist museum” to an “institutional government house.” Or, as Clarín alleges, Macri is on a mission to “de-Cristina-ify” the place.
To accomplish this, he’s getting rid of the Gallery of Latin American Patriots, which holds portraits of icons such as Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Eva Perón, Salvador Allende, Pancho Villa, Simón Bolívar, Túpac Amaru and Augusto Sandino, among others. Also set to go is the Gallery of Popular Idols, which includes of photographs of Charly García, Diego Maradona, Mafalda, “Coca” Sarli and El Gauchito Gil. Both of these rooms were erected under former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Perhaps the biggest slap in Cristina-as-interior-decorator’s face is Macri’s decision to move the bust of Néstor Kirchner, a piece ordered by Cristina at the end of her term, from the main entry of the building to the Hall of Honor. The bust will be placed within chronological order of terms served alongside those of other ex-presidents.
Set to cover the walls of the “neo-Casa Rosada” is an ongoing rotation of portraits, courtesy of the National Arts Fund and the Palais de Glace. President Macri has delegated responsibility of the renovations to his general secretary, Fernando de Andreis, who is being further advised by Teresa de Anchorena, the president of the National Commission of Historical Monuments and Américo Castilla, the Secretary of National Heritage.
According to government sources, the objective is to “create a balance” between the various political ideologies that have left their mark on the presidential palace.
So turns out taking down Néstor’s and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s portraits back in February — a move that many saw as an unnecessary provocation that obviously irked Kirchnerite supporters — was just the beginning of the Casa Rosada’s facelift.