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CULTURE | 07-05-2024 21:39

No more CCK – Milei government baptises ‘Palacio Libertad’

National government says it will rename the Centro Cultural Kirchner as it moves to “depoliticise” iconic building that once housed Argentina’s Post Office.

President Javier Milei’s government has finally chosen a new name for the Centro Cultural Kirchner (CCK), opting to baptise it anew as the ‘Palacio Libertad.’

Presidential Spokesperson Manuel Adorni confirmed the decision in a brief three-word post on social media, almost two months on from the initial announcement that it would strip the building of its current moniker.

Sources from La Libertad Avanza say the decision to change the building’s name is being pushed through because they consider the surname Kirchner to be associated with "corruption.” 

The name change will be implemented via government decree in the coming days. It will modify previous legislation, issued in 2012, which changed the original name of the Centro Cultural del Bicentenario to "President Néstor Carlos Kirchner." 

The government had reportedly considered naming the building after an iconic Argentine leader or cultural figure. Among the names considered were Julio Argentino Roca, Jorge Luis Borges, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and Bartolomé Mitre.

The Casa Rosada said the new name does not respond to any "partisan decision” – a claim that holds little weight, given that the name of Milei’s party is La Libertad Avanza.

The CCK, which is overseen by the Culture Secretariat within the Human Capital Ministry, 

"It has finally been decided to change the name of the Centro Cultural Kirchner, so it will cease to be called as such and will effectively give way to a new name," Adorni said at a press conference on January 26. 

Initially opened nearly a century ago, the Retiro building was for decades home to the Buenos Aires Central Post Office.

In 2005, Néstor Kirchner led efforts to turn the then-abandoned building into a massive cultural centre. At great expense, the site was refurbished, reformed and eventually re-opened a decade later in 2015 as the Centro Cultural Kirchner, in honour of the late former president, who had died five years earlier.

Designed in a beaux-arts style, the CCK is home to a stunning concert hall known as "the blue whale," that seats almost 2,000 people. It also has venues for music, art installations, live theatre performances and regularly hosts exhibitions.

Former president Mauricio Macri (2015-2019) tried to change the building’s name during his time in office, but didn’t follow through with the plan.

President Milei suggested on the campaign trail last year that he would seek to change the building’s name if he won the presidential election. 



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