Take physic, pomp

Tourist attractions, Colombian style

In the town of Piedecuesta in northeastern Colombia, a local waxworks exhibition has been packing them in over the festive season with the dead body of Raul Reyes, the FARC leader bombed to death in the now infamous cross-border attack in Ecuador on March 1st 2008. The body is under glass and is said to be a faithful reproduction of the images of Reyes as shown by the Colombian army to TV and press cameras after the attack. You get the beard, the T-shirt covered in blood and the underwear (as he didn’t have time to get his khakis on before dying). No word on the laptops, though.
Also on display are other figures modelled by the same local artist, Luis Augusto Martínez Ramírez. The eclectic collection includes Álvaro Uribe, Hugo Chávez, Ingrid Betancourt, Adolf Hitler, FARC leader Manuel Marulanda, paramilitary leader Carlos Castaño, Pablo Escobar, Simon Bolivar, Princess Diana, Che Guevara, President Kennedy, Mother Theresa of Calcutta and three images of Pope John Paul II. Here are a few more images from the museum’s collection:

Simon Bolivar
Álvaro Uribe(!)
This is too bizarre for words

For the grande finale, here’s Telam news agency on the “personal touch” that Martínez has brought to his sculptures (translation Otto):

“Another of the interesting aspects of the exhibition is that the figures of Martínez, who is a dentist, move and smile, showing off teeth that the author elaborated by taking advantage of his professional knowledge.”

Even in the mondo bizarro that is South America, Colombia beats ’em all hands down. Applause for dentist, wax artist and museum owner, Luis Augusto Martínez Ramírez (below):

The sign translates as :
“Augusmar wax museum presents personalities from history, politicians, artists, monsters, guerrillas, child phenomena, victims of crimes and much more”.

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