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Uruguay celebrates 100th anniversary of "La Cumparsita" tango

URUGUAY TANGO | 01 de mayo de 2017

Uruguay celebrates 100th anniversary of "La Cumparsita" tango
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Photo provided on May 1, 2017 by Uruguay's Tourism Minister showing a view of the tango festival and the official unveiling of a street mural celebrating the 100th anniversary of "La Cumparsita," an iconic piece in that musical style, in San Gregorio de Polanco, Uruguay on Apr. 30, 2017. EFE/Uruguay's Tourism Minister

Montevideo, May 1 (efe-epa).- More than 1,000 people gathered in the central Uruguayan town of San Gregorio de Polanco for a tango festival and the official unveiling of a street mural celebrating the 100th anniversary of "La Cumparsita," an iconic piece in that musical style.

The 82-meter by 9-meter (269-foot by 30-foot) mural featuring the piece's score was completed on April 16 and has become a tourist attraction in San Gregorio de Polanco, located in Tacuarembo province and known as the town with the highest density of murals in the country.

Residents, tourists and people from the surrounding countryside attended the festival in an area closed to vehicular traffic and filled with tango singers and dancers, Tourism Ministry representatives told EFE.

At the close of the festival, hundreds of people danced to "La Cumparsita," a tango composed by Uruguayan Gerardo Matos Rodriguez and first presented in public in Montevideo on April 19, 1917.

The street where the mural by the Expresarte Cultura group is located will be closed to traffic in May, and city officials are working with the Tourism Ministry on ways to preserve the work in light of its size and appeal to visitors.

The artists painted the pavement in white and then drew the exact score of "La Cumparsita" on three long pentagrams, adding to San Gregorio de Polanco's fame around the world for its murals, although this is the first time one was painted on a horizontal surface.

Expresarte Cultura completed the work in just three days.

San Gregorio de Polanco is located on the Negro River some 370 kilometers (230 miles) north of Montevideo and considered a museum of outdoor visual arts, offering more than 100 murals on house fronts and walls, some of them by well-known artists, such as Clever Lara, Tola Invernizzi and Julio Uruguay Alpuy.

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