Free enamel pin when you buy any two Atlas Obscura products. Shop now.

El Alto, Bolivia

Ernesto Che Guevara Statue

This likeness of the famous revolutionary is entirely made of recycled scraps of metal. 

It is beyond any doubt that Che Guevara is a dividing figure. It is also beyond any doubt that his iconic image stands for revolution and rebellion all over the world. And Bolivia, the country where Che Guevara met his demise, is no different.

In El Alto, at the outskirts of La Paz, stands a 30-foot-tall statue of Che Guevara entirely made of scrap metal—various parts of engines, cogs, wheels, and other mechanical spare parts. In addition to the unique material, this statue has also two distinctive features. 

First, Che Guevara is portrayed as trampling on a bald eagle, an obvious allusion to the aversions that Che Guevara harboured for the United States. Second, his face resembles that of an indigenous person, which can be interpreted as a form of appropriation.

Sculptor Felix Duran is the artist that created this intriguing monument to an intriguing historical figure. Like it or hate it, this is a unique piece of art.