OR THE BEAUTIFUL CITY AND ITS DRAMATIC HISTORY.
The Museums and Art Galleries and Botero.
Botero Square and the fabulous Medellin Antioquia Museum is a must after my huge disappointment in the Modern Art Gallery. there is a massive collection and a real plus, a huge section on Colombian ceramics. The clays, glazes and techniques used throughout their history til now. Videos show glazes new to me and a weird rubbing of a stone to achieve a burnish and shine on biscuit ware. (some of my sculptures used to use the same sort of style of finishing)
A city as infamous as is glorious. Let us just say I wouldn’t have wanted to be here when Pablo Escobar was alive. The dark creator of the Medellin Drugs Cartel made Colombia a hellhole to live in and was watched by the world in horror as the violence escalated. A man who started as a beneficent “Robin Hood” ended as a psychopath whose megalomania knew no end. There was no point in my going to his Hacienda, a long three and a half hours away, as it has mostly been dismantled by the Government. Let it suffice to say that the hippopotamuses from his private zoo have gone feral and bred happily which, no doubt, would have amused Pablo no end.
At the Pablo Escobar museum, Victor showed me around the place that houses of some of the salvaged pieces of memorabilia, and gave me one side of the incredible story of Pablos rise to infamy. It’s a good little museum still owned by the family and got me up to date with the family tree and the original bravado of the increasingly arrogant and wealthy man. (he did after all rapidly make Forbes List of the top ten of the richest men in the world). I have watched Netflix docufilms now, after going to the small museum up the road and one wonders which is the true version of this multi faceted man, sadly the cruel brutality shines through most.
He didn’t really care for the concept of being imprisoned but disliked the idea of being extradited to the U.S. more. In a deal with the Colombian top nobs he agreed to turn himself in, rather than de extradited, and be incarcerated in his self made prison called “The Cathedral”. This he designed more as a pleasure resort than a jail. His environment contained a casino and other things more suited to a five star hotel than a place of punishment. His jailers were his henchmen.
“Escobar was responsible for the killing of thousands of people, including politicians, civil servants, journalists and ordinary citizens.
When he realized that he had no shot of becoming Colombia’s president, and with the United States pushing for his capture and extradition, Escobar unleashed his fury on his enemies in the hopes of influencing Colombian politics. His goal was a no-extradition clause and amnesty for drug barons in exchange for giving up the trade.” link above.
VIDEO OF MY FAVOURITE BITS.
It’s interesting to note that his family had him exhumed to prove he took his own life rather than being shot down on the roof by the authorities….. I dunno!
My stay in Colombia has been marred only by one thing, that I’m not staying longer!!
I love this country and its people. I feel positively sad to leave. I’ll publish a separate blog for details of the places that I visited as the WiFi here is playing up.
Off to Lima tomorrow!
Call me paranoid, but such is the power of this mans legend, I’m not publishing this until I’ve left Colombia, Pablo did bring down a passenger jet too and I don’t want to jinx my flight!