'Evita' shroud fetches $160,000 at auction

March 19, 2004 at 2:49 PM
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ROME, March 19 (UPI) -- The blue and white silk funeral shroud of Argentina's most famous first lady, Eva Peron, sold for $160,000 at a controversial Rome auction.

That was more than three times its pre-sale estimate at a Christie's sale of memorabilia belonging to the Peron couple by a humanitarian foundation created at the behest of Juan Peron, the BBC said Friday.

The woman known as "Evita" died in 1952 but remains an icon in Argentina.

Peron had it made in 1971 to wrap his wife's remains when they made their final trip back to Argentina from Milan.

The shroud was purchased by the chairman of Aerolineas Argentinas, an Argentine airline, who said he intends to donate his purchase to the government.

That's not enough for some Evita admirers, though.

"These items are things that should not be sold and bought by people with money looking for a piece of Peron memorabilia -- they belong to all Argentines," former Peron aide Juan Gabriel Labake told the Argentine newspaper Clarin.

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