Our last few days of culture in Santiago!

Santiago Travel Blog

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The Salvador Allende Solidarity Museum, SAntigago

12 April
Our main visit today was to the Salvador Allende Solidarity Museum, we had looked for it before but it had moved, so today came to the lovely new renovated building in Av. Republica.  The collection is supposed to have works by Joan Miro, Picasso, Calder and some other big names, but all that was on display was work by a number of Scandinavian artists we'd never heard of.  It seems that all of the well known stuff is on tour around Brasil and then Europe, so a bit disappointing in that respect.  The building is really nice and it's obvious that a lot of money has been spent on doing it up.  One interesting section was an exhibition of photos by Uruguayan artist Naul Ojeda.  When the military coup started, he was sitting on  his balcony overlooking the Alameda and saw the tanks start off down the street, so grabbed his camera and followed.

Entrance to the Huaso Museum, Parque O'Higgins
  He was also one of the first to interview Pinochet, was working for Latin Press at the time.  Many of the photos at first appear quite ordinary, but you then think of the context and they are quite moving.|
We then walked over to Parque O'Higgins to find the Huaso Museum, basically a museum of country life.  it's within a complex of old buildings that are like a small town, and is on the entrace to the park right by O'Higgins Metro Station.  The museum is actually quite good, with an interesting collection of hats and ponchos, plus saddles, stirrups and some terrific little models of villages made out of seeds and beans, very clever!  The complex also has a dinosaur museum of fossilised remains, insect museum, aquarium, fauna and flora musuem and loads of restaurants.
Main hall of the Natural History Museum
  It looks like the place was an old hacienda with outbuildings, that has now been turned into a cultural centre on a fairly basic level, but worth a look.
Went home via the cinema to use our last tickets.  Saw 'Eastern Promises' about the Russian mafia in London.  Very gruesome in parts, but not bad.  Felt cold today on the way home, for the first time since we've been here.

13 April
Today started out fairly normal and then turned out quite interesting!  We walked down to Quinta Normal park to see the Natural History Musuem to find that the cultural sites in Santiago were having an open day so everything was free.  We went into what we think is the new Museum of Contemporary ARt.

What's that Skip, accident on the ridge?! Another Aussie at the Natural History Musuem.
  It looks like the building has just been restored and they've put in their first exhibition, lots of video pieces.  There was very little here, but looks like it could become quite good as it's developed.
Next stop was the Natural History Museum, where we scored a real bonus.  As we walked in, a lady ran up to us and asked if we'd like to see the mummy!  We of course said yes, and were then lucky enough to be a couple of the very few people who actually get to see 'El Nino del Cerro El Plomo', a frozen 8 year old boy who was offered to the Incan sun god over 500  years ago.  He was found in the 1950's and has been in the museum ever since.  As they are being very careful with his conservation, there is usually only a replica on display, so getting to see the original was incredible.
Noel looking through a large piece of Chilean wood!
  He looks like he just curled up and went to sleep, the level of preservation is incredible.  The lady who found us turned out to be one of the museum's archaeologists, and realized we were tourists and might be interested, so we were incredibly lucky.  The rest of the museum was very good.  Not as big as the one in London, but very well laid out and presented.  There's a lot more there than just insects and feathers, which is what the Lonely Planet says!
We then walked through the park to the Museo Artequin, which is in a restored pre/fab steel building made for the Paris Exposicion in the 1890's.  The building is fantastic, and it's now being used as an education centre for children, teaching them about perspective, light etc., and how it is used in art.  They can also do lots of activities as well, a really worthwhile place.  And best of all, all of these places had free coffee and biscuits, so even got refreshments!

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The Salvador Allende Solidarity Mu…
The Salvador Allende Solidarity M…
Entrance to the Huaso Museum, Parq…
Entrance to the Huaso Museum, Par…
Main hall of the Natural History M…
Main hall of the Natural History …
Whats that Skip, accident on the …
What's that Skip, accident on the…
Noel looking through a large piece…
Noel looking through a large piec…
Replica of the frozen boy, Natural…
Replica of the frozen boy, Natura…
Train museum, Quinta Normal Park
Train museum, Quinta Normal Park
Outside of the Museo Artequin.
Outside of the Museo Artequin.
Interior of Museo Artequin
Interior of Museo Artequin
Children doing some painting at Mu…
Children doing some painting at M…
Santiago
photo by: Bluetraveler