Galerías Pacífico

Buenos Aires

Occupying an entire city block, this beautiful building, inspired by Le Bon Marché in Paris, houses an upscale shopping center with a large food court. The architecture and frescoes inside are worth a visit on their own. Self-guided audio tours are available in English and Spanish; inquire at the information kiosk. The excellent Centro Cultural Borges takes up the top floor.

When you step inside, check out the ceiling. In 1945 the completion of a central cupola made space for a dozen paintings by muralists Antonio Berni, Juan Carlos Castagnino, Manuel Colmeiro, Lino Enea Spilimbergo and Demetrio Urruchúa. All were adherents of the nuevo realismo (new realism) school, heirs of an earlier social-activist tendency in Argentine art. For many years the building was semi-abandoned, but a joint Argentine-Mexican team repaired and restored the murals in 1992.

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