I love this sculpture. Anyone from Chile will instantly recognise the significance of this object - amplified to 50x it’s original size as if to give due weight to its historic importance.
The iconic glasses were formerly worn by Chile’s socialist leader Salvador Allende when he took a fatal bullet to the head during the military coup on September 11, 1973.
2011 saw a number of developments in this 38 year old case. Foremost was the exhumation of Allende’s remains for forensic analysis - to the surprise of no-one the results of the autopsy revealed the former leader had died as the result of a self inflicted gunshot.
Also last year, the family of Allende filed a lawsuit for the return of the AK-47 used in the incident. The rifle was originally seized by the army, but now appears to have been lost in time. It should be easily recognisable due to the gold plate engraved with the words: “To my good friend Salvador from Fidel, who by different means tries to achieve the same goals”.
I love a good mystery, and the thought of this weapon stashed in a locked box in the back of someone’s closet fascinates me to the point of obsession. How much does this weigh on the mind of whomever knows of its location?
The sculpture is located in the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry Office in Caracas. The original glasses are on display here in Santiago at the Museo Historico Nacional.