Saturday, 12 October 2013

Don't Cry for Me if You Can´t Find My Tomb

Want to find Evita’s tomb? The advice is to follow the crowds. Trouble is, the crowds are following the advice. Catch 22. Nobody can find the tomb.
We’re in no hurry to join the throng of necro-voyeurs. I would rather keep my distance, delve into the nether reaches, the hidden corners, be intrigued by the architecture of this diminutive city. This necropolis. The narrow streets of mausolea, the stairways that lead down into an underworld, the black marble slabs of sarcophagi that reflect sky and cross. The Franco ornate scrolled gates that guard the descent into the earth’s bowels. The resting places for all those whose names grace any and every Argentine town street. Sarmiento and Lavalle, Yrigoyen and Mitré, the ranked armies of liberators and administrators. The montage mouldings to the great and the good, demonstrations of their civic duty and Christian piety. The angel tended fallen romantics. Sculptured exhibitionism. The selections of padlocks and cobwebs, the ornaments of brassware, the aerosols of air freshener.
Inevitably we stumble upon the throng. One enterprising party have had the foresight to purchase the cemetery map; they navigate in the correct direction, but walk right past, re-orientate and backtrack. I can see their confusion; they’re looking for the plaque that tells them they’ve found their trove: Sra. Eva Peron. They’ve found the shrine, only they don’t yet realise it, for she lies in the vault and under the inscription of ‘Duarte y familia‘.