Caracas has some hidden places that make it an interesting and cosmopolitan city. One of them is the “Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Caracas Sofía Imber”
(MACCSI) that has a remarkable collection of modern art that can be
compared to that of larger and richer cities around the world.
The newcomer is pleasantly surprised to find such an incredible congregation of excellent pieces in an artistic oasis in the middle of Caracas. The Museum was an object of pride among Venezuelans and represented what Venezuelans were able to achieve when they left politics aside and followed only a criteria of excellence and knowledge.
When such an achievement happens in an unlikely society, it is very often because someone was behind it. That someone in this case is Sofia Imber, a well known journalist and art patron that put all her soul and positive stubbornness into creating and maintaining a first class International Museum.
Sofía Imber was the Museum director for many years, and during the tenure of many governments. Four years ago, however, she was kicked out of the Museum by the Chavista government. At that time, she learned she had been fired on TV.
Two days ago we learned that the MACCSI will lose its “SI”: the government has decided to remove the name of the founder, Sofía Imber, from the official name of the Museum.
Why? Why four years after removing Sofia Imber from her post does the government decide to remove her name? Wouldn’t have been more natural to remove it four years ago? Why now? What has Sofia been doing that insulted the government so much?
Well, Sofia has been signing a letter and, in Chavez’s Venezuela, signing your name has become a risky event.
Sofia, who also happens to be jewish, signed the letter repudiating Chavez’s recent anti-semitic remarks.
As this ghost blogger reported, the letter, signed by hundreds of well known personalities, professors and intellectuals, enraged the government so much that they did not lost any time in writing an offensive attack against all that had signed in the official MCI page. The government states, among other things, that the letter is a product of a Bush campaign, that the signatories are intellectually dishonest and that they are lying to delegitimize the government of Venezuela and “justify a military intervention in the country”.
The readers can judge by themselves if any of those statements are present in the letter that was published and that I include here:
So today in Tal Cual there is an interview with Sofia Imber where she says that she was not surprised of the government move, that she had been expecting that to happen. To the question of why now, she answered that it was because she just signed the protest letter against Chavez anti-semitic remarks.
I can see that Sofia and I had the same interpretation of the events and so has PAM-CHITO from Notitarde:
To finish this ghost blogging piece, I will leave you with today’s caricature of Pedro Leon Zapata, who is another Venezuelan institution and happens to be the last signatory of the letter:
“The Museum, for the time being (*), does not have a name, but we have an alternate route (**). To Tattoo a number in its arm! ”
Distinguished Ghost Blogger
(*) Reference to the famous “Por ahora” used by lieutenant colonel Chavez when he appeared on TV after the failed coup of February 4, 1992.
(**) Reference to the lack of an alternative route for the viaduct that links Caracas with its port and airport and failed a few weeks ago due to neglect.