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Rakewell

I hereby dedicate this new museum to… myself!

22 February 2017

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

‘This date will mark history. This museum is the patrimony of all who struggled for the liberation of our people,’ said longterm Bolivian president Evo Morales upon the opening of – what else? – a museum dedicated to his own life and achievements.

The Museum of the Democratic and Cultural Revolution, or ‘Evo Museum’, as it has been dubbed, is a multimillion-dollar complex situated in Morales’s home village of Orinoco. Among other highlights, its exhibits include a host of objects and displays dedicated to the president, including portraits, busts, and pictures of Morales, who has been in power since 2006, mugging for the camera with other world leaders.

Opposition politicians have criticised the $7 million venture, describing it as ‘a waste’ and attacking its cost and gaudiness. More than a few have questioned the sense of building such a vanity project – sorry, museum – in an area afflicted by deep rural poverty. In an effort to keep up the good vibes, vice president Alvaro García Linera has responded to the party poopers, describing them as ‘racist’ and ‘agents of the empire’. Not sure that quite follows, Alvaro…

Rakewell does however question the wisdom of a serving head of state opening a museum in his own honour. On the other hand, perhaps Morales is all too aware that if he doesn’t glorify himself while he has the chance, nobody else will…

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.

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