Why did 100,000 Argentine fans gather at the obelisk in Buenos Aires to sing ‘Messi Messi’ at this World Cup?

El Obelisco, the Obelisk, protrudes from the belly of Buenos Aires, standing tall (67.5 meters), the unofficial center of the city and the gathering point for joys, sorrows, protests, celebrations. Unsurprisingly, football fans have also gathered here during this World Cup, with photos and videos captured by drone cameras going viral around the world. The Indian Express even ran an aerial photo on the front page of the thousands of people celebrating Argentina’s participation in the final.

What is the meaning of the Obelisk?

It’s right on the spot where the revered San Nicolas Church once stood – the local microcento neighborhood takes its name from the church.

It was in that church that the Argentine flag first flew in Buenos Aires in 1812. The obelisk was erected in 1936. It was designed by Alberto Prebisch, a celebrated Tucuman modernist architect of German descent, to mark the 400th anniversary of Buenos Aires. to commemorate. Incidentally, a few months before the flag was raised in the church in 1812, the first flag was raised in Rosario, the birthplace of Leo Messi, on the Parana River, where the National Flag Memorial now stands.

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What is the soccer connection to the Obelisk?

It dates back to the 1978 FIFA World Cup, the first won by Argentina, when the South American country was ruled by a military dictatorship. It was said that people would then watch the World Cup matches in the cinema halls and then flock to the obelisk to celebrate the victories.

The monument stands at the intersection of two iconic streets: Avendia 9 de Julio and Avendia Corrientes. Three of the city’s underground subway lines converge directly below the obelisk; so it’s an easy place for many in the city to gather.

What are the features of the monument?

It took only four weeks (31 days) to build, made of Cordoba white stone. The four sides represent important milestones in the city’s history: the foundation of the city in 1536, the second and more permanent foundation in 1580, the flying of the first flag in 1812, and the declaration of Buenos Aires as the country’s capital in 1880. After periods of vandalism, a fence was placed around the base of the building in 1987.

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