Wax Figure of Adalberto Álvarez Unveiled at Controversial Bayamo Museum

Monday, May 20, 2024 by Amelia Soto

Wax Figure of Adalberto Álvarez Unveiled at Controversial Bayamo Museum
The figure is accompanied by a güiro used by the Knight of Son - Image © Facebook / La Demajagua

The Wax Museum of Bayamo, previously mired in controversy over its representation of troubadour Sara González, added a new figure of Adalberto Álvarez this Saturday.

Despite facing criticism for its contentious exhibits, the museum introduced a reasonably accurate life-sized, polychrome wax figure of the "Caballero del Son," as reported by the state-run newspaper Granma.

The piece was crafted by artists Rafael Barrios Madrigal and his son Rafael Barrios Milán, and it depicts the image of Adalberto Álvarez at approximately 60 years old. The statue is further enhanced with clothing, footwear, and other personal belongings donated by the artist's family, including his signature güiro (musical instrument) that he used in his performances.

With this new addition, the museum now boasts 27 pieces dedicated to "personalities from Cuban and international history, politics, and culture, as well as popular figures."

To mark the occasion, the controversial Cándido Fabré performed a new song titled "Adalberto, el son necesita de ti" during the unveiling ceremony.

The founder of Son 14 passed away in 2021 at the age of 72, leaving behind a significant musical legacy with hits such as "Y qué tú quieres que te den," "A bailar el toca toca," "Para bailar casino," and "A Bayamo en coche."

The Wax Museum of Bayamo, the only one of its kind in Cuba, was the center of a major controversy in 2017 when it unveiled a piece honoring singer-songwriter Sara González, an iconic figure of the Cuban Nueva Trova movement and closely linked to the political events of the island's government.

The gesture by brothers Rafael and Leander Barrios Milán, along with their father and mentor Rafael Barrios Madrigal, sparked an unimaginable debate on social media, where intellectuals, artists, and general users mocked the monument, even comparing it to "a female version of Hugo Chávez."

Ultimately, González's widow, Diana Balboa, announced that the wax figure was removed from the museum after receiving criticism from friends and family.

Controversies Surrounding the Wax Museum of Bayamo

The Wax Museum of Bayamo has often been at the center of public debate due to its controversial exhibits. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the museum's history and current exhibits.

Why has the Wax Museum of Bayamo faced criticism?

The museum has faced criticism for its contentious representations of Cuban cultural and political figures. These exhibits have often sparked public debate and satire on social media.

Who created the wax figure of Adalberto Álvarez?

The wax figure of Adalberto Álvarez was created by artists Rafael Barrios Madrigal and his son Rafael Barrios Milán.

What notable items were included with Adalberto Álvarez's wax figure?

The wax figure was enriched with clothing, footwear, and other personal items donated by Álvarez's family, including his signature güiro.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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