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Chaco Province and the City of Sculptures

This week Expanish Blog continues its quest to explore the lesser explored provinces of Argentina. A few months ago we spoke to Expanish Spanish School Director, Agustin Vignale to tell us about Catamarca in the north west of Argentina.

This week Alejandro Rched, Expanish´s other Director, to provide an insight into his home province of Chaco in the north…

“My home province of Chaco is geographically located in the north east of Argentina. Being one of the poorest provinces in the country and known by its vegetation and high temperatures, its capital city, Resistencia, is an open air museum, and also known as “city of sculptures”. due to hundred of monuments and other works of art spread among its streets.

Since 1988 and every two years since then, the city and the Urunday foundation organize the already well known “Bienal de las Esculturas”, an international Sculpture Contest. Artist from all over the world that participate of this event work during seven days in the central park “Plaza 25 de Mayo”. Lots of people visit the Plaza to see the sculptures while  the artists work in them. After the contest, the sculptures stay in the city in parks and sidewalks.

Resistencia is a unique city, where you will find an sculpture in every street and park.

Going back in time, the origin of this unique characteristic of Resistencia is related to “El fogon de los Arrieros”, which was founded in 1942  as a cultural centre, art gallery and meeting point for artists in 1954. In 1961, El Fogon launch a program “Plan de Embellecimiento de Resistencia” with the idea to integrate art to the  public places such as sidewalks and parks.

The remarkable work carried out since then, gave the city works of artists like Louis Perlotti, Gonzalo Leguizamon Pondal, Lucio Fontana, Joseph Fioravanti, Emilio Pettoruti, Raul Monsegur, Libero Badii, Juan Carlos Labourdette, Noemi Gerstein, Mimo Eidman Tanya Preminger, Enio Iommi, Ted Carrasco, Mirko Basaldella, Fernando Arranz, Miguel Angel Gonzalez Salazar, Ferruccio Polacco, Serge Gangolf, Jaak Soans, Thomas Kühnapfel, Mitko Dinev, Fabriciano and many others.´

As well as sculptures, this little visited (little visited by tourists that is) province has a lot to offer.. here are some quick facts about Chaco:

  • Chaco is a Quechua word for hunting
  • Chaco boarders Paraguay,  and at the end of the 19th century saw numerous confrontations between Argentina and Paraguay in the Gran Chaco
  • Chaco is rich in wildlife and is home to lots of exotic wildlife including, crocodiles, monkeys, tarantulas, wild boars, giant armadillos, rattlesnakes, tarantulasother poisonous snakes
  • Chaco has an area of 38,468 square miles (99,633 square km), most of which is low hardwood forest with patches of flat desert