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“Necessary and scary”

Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos
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Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos...
Ranked #17 of 498 things to do in Santiago
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Museum of Memory and Human Rights seeks to draw attention to human rights violations committed by the Chilean state between 1973 and 1990. Its mission is to allow dignity for victims and their families, stimulate reflection and debate and to promote respect and tolerance in order that these events never happen again. It is a Bicentennial project, inaugurated on January 2010, by then President Bachelet. Its purpose is to promote educational initiatives that enhance knowledge and consideration. Its location, on Matucana Street, is also part of an ongoing effort to promote the cultural circuit of Santiago's West Side. Through objects, documents and archives presented in different settings and formats, as well as a innovative sight and sound presentation, it is possible to learn part of this history: the military coup, the repression that took place in the following years, the resistance movement, exile, international solidarity, reparation policies.
Useful Information: Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Stairs / elevator, Food available for purchase
Reviewed December 8, 2014

It is an impressing museum and I give my credits to the state of Chile that this museum has been established. Other countries with a former dictatorship could learn from Chile. I that it is mandatory for all school children of Chile to visit the museum. I am so old that I know about the dictatorship - or I thought I knew until my visit at the museum. The dictatorship was much worse that I knew about and my wife and I learned a lot during our visit. If the museum had more explanations in English I would have rated "excellent", but the good English audioguide (2.000 pesos) compensates a lot. Bring a sweater because the air condition makes it freezing cold inside. We had to leave after three hours after the end of the permanent exhibition.

1  Thank Steen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"human rights"
in 134 reviews
"audio guide"
in 199 reviews
"pinochet regime"
in 81 reviews
"chilean history"
in 128 reviews
"english subtitles"
in 32 reviews
"museum is free"
in 48 reviews
"military coup"
in 48 reviews
"recent history"
in 53 reviews
"dark period"
in 16 reviews
"important museum"
in 14 reviews
"non spanish speakers"
in 26 reviews
"coup d'etat"
in 17 reviews
in 450 reviews
"recent past"
in 15 reviews
"great museum"
in 44 reviews
"modern museum"
in 15 reviews
"quinta normal metro station"
in 14 reviews

891 - 895 of 5,783 reviews

Reviewed December 8, 2014

The museum design and atmosphere is really nice. If you have interest to Chilean history of dictatorship you should go. But if you are just classical tourist who is not interested in a dicta-period of Chile, you shouldn't go.

3  Thank truderdanny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2014 via mobile

Go. Just go. Nothing can describe this place or the experience. We wept uncontrollably and can barely stop even now. I don't want to diminish it by describing it - va. Ahora. You will never be the same.

1  Thank WendyC240
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2014

One of the best museums in Santiago, but be prepared for emotionally moving content. All information in Spanish, but an English handheld audio guide can be rented at the entrance for CLP 2000 (USD 3.50). With the audio guide, it took about two hours to see everything. I did find the numbering a bit difficult to follow, but other than that, thought the guide was very good as I found it easier to listen, rather than having to concentrate on reading the placards. Also, it would've been helpful to have had information on the events that motivated the coup, but the museum only dealt with the aftermath, so there was no context for the events that transpired. Metro: Quinta Normal.

1  Thank jump78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 7, 2014

This museum is designed to bear witness to the military dictatorship which ruled Chile and its victims (approx. 3,000 killed and maybe ten times that number directly affected in other ways such as being arrested or driven into exile). The museum is spread across three floors and takes a broadly chronological view of what happening during the dictatorship, mixed in with some sections which explore particular topics such as the campaigns those in exile. It makes extensive use of media exhibits and much of the newsreel footage from the time is both very dramatic and moving. The building itself is also very impressive and worth taking in as well as the exhibits it contains.

It’s clearly offensive to suggest that an exhibition covering a period of mass murder and torture should be impartial, but a significant downside of the exhibition is the lack of context. The background to the coup and in particular the now generally accepted US involvement are not covered and it’s never really explained why the dictatorship allowed itself to be voted out of existence. Even more problematic is the lack of discussion around the collaboration with the junta by elements of Chillan civil society and the fact that as late as 1987 nearly 45% of the population voted for Pinochet to remain in power. The continuing influence of that period on Chile's economy (which has many distinct differences from its neighbours) is also ignored.

I would recommend the museum, but to fully understand the period you’ll need to do some further reading from other sources.

In terms of the practicalities it’s a little way outside the City Centre, but directly opposite Quinta Normal metro station on Line 5. Admission is free, but unless you are a Spanish speaker and reader make sure you pick up one of the audio guides. These are very comprehensive and explain almost everything - although obviously it’s no possible to translate all the exhibits such as newspapers and news footage verbatim.

2  Thank Phil S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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