N is for National Museums and More

National Museum of Fine Arts (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes) is a must-see because its outstanding collection of outstanding Argentine artists. A whole room is devoted to Antonio Berni’s work, accompanied in other galleries by native-son artists such as Xul Solar and Eduardo Sivori. (Worthwhile free tours in English focus the Argentina art).  Additionally the Bellas Artes  also boasts a surprisingly robust collection of European Impressionists from Cezanne and Van Gogh to Degas and Picasso. (closed Mondays) Then pop over to the Latin American Modern Arts Museum (MALBA) which specifically focuses on 20th and 21st century Latin American art. (closed Tuesdays). And do stay for lunch in it very good restaurant.

National Museum of Decorative Arts, gives visitors a look at one of the finest of the incredible mansions that once lined Avenue Libertador. The 18th century neoclassical mansion, designed by the French architect who built the Trianon Palace Hotel in Versailles, offers the perfect setting for the 4,000-piece collection of sculptures, paintings (El Greco and Manet are here) and furnishings; the Errazuriz-Alvear family donated both the mansion and its contents to the government, and pride of place goes to the European and Oriental decorative pieces. Throughout the year, new exhibits focus on fashion, tapestry, jewelry and decorative arts. A Museum bonus: a beautiful little café-restaurant in the courtyard.

National Gay Pride Parade steps out this year on November 10, covering 11 blocks starting at the Casa Rosada at Plaza de Mayo, moving along Avenida de Mayo to end at the National Congress building. This important (recognizing that Argentina was the first—in 2010— Latin American country to recognize same-sex marriages) and colorful event is equally famous for its parade parties that take place on the streets, and of course last well through the night. Other major events of interest to the LBGT community in November include Asterisco film festival, and the Queer Tango Festival.

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