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Che Guevara statue damaged in his hometown


Buenos Aires : Unknown people damaged a bronze statue of Ernesto Che Guevara in Rosario, the Argentine city where the icon of the Cuban revolution was born, an official said.

Horacio Ghirardi said Tuesday that the act of vandalism was committed last weekend by “someone who does not like this figure or had the intention of robbing or damaging it.

“Unfortunately it has been targeted by vandals and now we will have to restore it and keep protecting it,” he said on Rosario radio stations, adding that the sculpture suffered cuts indicating the intention to remove the legs.

The statue, which stands 4 metres tall and weighs three tons, was unveiled June 14, 2008, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of Che’s birth.

Ghirardi said that as the years have gone by, the figure of Che Guevara has become part of Argentine culture, but “there are sectors that remain opposed” to the installation of the guerrilla’s sculpture in Rosario.

In any case, he said that “it is a sculpture that is treasured, it has so much symbolism” and will be restored “like so many others”.

The work, created by sculptor Andres Zerneri with the smelting of some 75,000 donated keys and other bronze objects, is a full-body statue of Che, walking and wearing a beret, with long hair and his gaze fixed on the horizon, an expression copied from a famous photo by the Cuban photographer Korda in Havana in the 1960s.