Memory and Human Rights Museum ex ESMA

Memory and Human Rights Museum ex ESMA: A Place of Remembrance in Buenos Aires

The Memory and Human Rights Space, also known as ex ESMA, is one of the most emblematic sites in Buenos Aires. This space, which once was a clandestine center for detention, torture, and extermination during Argentina’s last military dictatorship (1976-1983), has been transformed into a place of memory and reflection on human rights.

History of the Memory and Human Rights Museum

The Navy School of Mechanics (ESMA) was one of the largest detention centers during the dictatorship. It is estimated that more than 5,000 people were illegally detained in its facilities. Many of them were tortured and disappeared. After the return to democracy, ESMA became a symbol of state terror, and starting in 2004, a process began to transform the site into a space dedicated to memory and the promotion of human rights.

What to Visit

1. ESMA Museum of Memory Site: This museum occupies the building where the clandestine center operated. Through various exhibitions, it presents the history of the detainees and disappeared persons, as well as the judicial processes that led to the conviction of those responsible for the crimes committed.

2. Haroldo Conti Cultural Center: This cultural center offers a variety of artistic and educational activities related to memory and human rights. It includes exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and performances.ex esma

3. Institute of Memory Space (IEM): An organization dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of historical memory. It conducts research and offers educational resources about the dictatorship and the fight for human rights in Argentina.

4. Headquarters of Human Rights Organizations: Various human rights organizations are based on the premises, including Mothers of Plaza de Mayo – Founding Line and Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, who have played a crucial role in the search for justice and truth.

Importance of the Memory and Human Rights Space

This site is not only a place of remembrance and homage to the victims of the dictatorship but also serves as an educational tool for new generations. It promotes reflection on the importance of human rights and the need to preserve historical memory to prevent the repetition of atrocious events.

Important Information

– Hours and Access: The Memory and Human Rights Space ex ESMA is open from Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 8 PM and on weekends from 9 AM to 9 PM. Admission is free. It is advisable to check the official website for scheduled activities.

– Guided Tours: Guided tours are available, providing a deeper and more detailed perspective on the history and exhibitions of the site. These tours are highly recommended for a better understanding of the context and significance of the site.

– Respect and Reflection: As a place of memory, visitors are expected to maintain an attitude of respect and reflection during their visit. Photography is allowed, but always with consideration for the place and its meaning.

– Location: The space is located in the Nuñez neighborhood, at Av. Libertador 8151 in Buenos Aires.

The Memory and Human Rights Space ex ESMA is a must-visit for those in Buenos Aires who wish to understand a fundamental part of Argentine history. Its transformation from a repression center to a site of memory is a testament to the country’s commitment to truth, justice, and human rights. Visiting this space is an experience that invites reflection and reaffirms the value of human rights in today’s society.

Map of the Space


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History of the Museum

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The Collection

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  • Antonio Berni: Known for his works depicting the lives and struggles of Argentine workers.
  • Raúl Soldi: Famous for his frescoes and paintings capturing the essence of life in Argentina.
  • Marta Minujín: Renowned for her pop and conceptual art installations.

Additionally, the collection features pieces by international artists such as Turner, Salvador Dalí, and Pablo Picasso, providing a global and diverse perspective on art.

The Visitor Experience

The museum building, with its large windows and river views, offers a bright and welcoming environment to enjoy art. The multi-level structure allows for a thematic and chronological arrangement of works, providing an enriching and educational experience for visitors.

The museum also features a café and a gift shop where visitors can enjoy a coffee while contemplating the artistic surroundings or purchase unique souvenirs related to the collection.

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Activities and Events

The Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat Art Collection is not only about displaying artworks but also organizing various cultural and educational activities, including:

  • Temporary Exhibitions: Offering deeper insights into specific artists or art movements.
  • Workshops and Lectures: For both adults and children, promoting artistic education and community participation.
  • Guided Tours: Available in multiple languages, providing a deeper understanding of the artworks and the museum’s history.

Practical Information

  • Address: Olga Cossettini 141, Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Hours: Open Thursday to Sunday, from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
  • Tickets: Prices vary, with discounts available for students, retirees, and teachers. Free admission for people with disabilities. Reduced prices on Thursdays.

For more details, you can visit their website.

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Plan your visit and discover the artistic legacy waiting to be explored at the Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat Art Collection!

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