Museo a Cielo Abierto – San Miguel, Chile - Atlas Obscura
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San Miguel, Chile

Museo a Cielo Abierto

The gorgeous murals at this open-air museum form the largest street art collective in Chile. 

A vibrant collection of murals forms this striking open-air museum. It transforms an often unexplored area into a flourishing outdoor art gallery that’s now the largest street art collective in Chile. Artists from Chile and beyond turned the houses into their canvases while bringing the works to life.

The art’s beauty goes far deeper than its popping colors and gorgeous images. It also gives a voice to the people who live in the neighborhood and lets them tell their stories and celebrate their cultures.

In the 1960s, the neighborhood was built for working class people who moved into the metropolitan area while it was rapidly expanding. The people who lived there endured poverty and the political turmoil that arose after the 1973 coup.

Years of pollution and neglect left many of the houses in rough shape. In 2009, two locals had the idea to use street art to refresh the buildings and bring new life to the older structures. The first mural was unveiled in 2010. Now, more than 40 line the streets, each one becoming an artistic backdrop to everyday life.

Even though many are made by renowned artists, the locals still have a strong say in shaping what has now become an open-air museum. Themes of religion, environmental stewardship, and celebrating children are prominent.

Know Before You Go

To arrive, take the metro in the direction of the "Departamental" metro station (Line 2/Yellow) and walk westward for a few blocks. The place its not dangerous, but you should have some common sense.