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By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On September 30th, Centro Cultural Correios held an opening ceremony for a new exhibition, Jardim de Memórias – Parque do Flamengo 50 anos (Garden of Memories – 50 Years of Parque do Flamengo). Officially opening to the public on Thursday, October 1st and continuing through November 29th, the free exhibition celebrates the creation and history of Rio de Janerio’s famous park and urban recreational space, Parque do Flamengo through the display of over one hundred photographs, drawings, architectural plans and videos.

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In the 1920s removal of stones, rocks, and sand from Morro do Castelo, an area now occupied by the Santos Dumont airport, marked the beginning of the Parque do Flamengo, photo of the exhibition by Tomaz Silva/ Agência Brasil.

Curated by architect and urban planner Margareth da Silva Pereira, the exhibition features original photographs and drawings by the planners, architects and landscape architects of Parque do Flamengo including architect and designer Lota Macedo Soares, landscape architect Burle Marx, and architect Affonso Eduardo Reidy.

Officially opened on October 12, 1965, the Parque do Flamengo, also known as Aterro do Flamengo, is a seven-kilometer-long stretch of land in Rio de Janeiro located between the historic landmarks of Pão de Açúcar and Corcovado that faces out onto Guanabara Bay. With more than 11,600 trees from 190 species, Parque do Flamengo occupies a space of approximately 1.3 million square meters.

The area is a manmade creation, formed from a landfills made mostly with rocks, sands and stones taken from the Morro do Castelo area, now occupied by the Santos Dumont airport and it was not always destined to become a park.

“The question oscillated between making the site a new neighborhood or simply lanes for traffic. Lota [Macedo Soares] played a key role in this, since she had lived in New York, she knew the importance of Central Park and other city parks,” explained curator Margareth da Silva Pereira. “She and poet Elizabeth Bishop, who were partners, were friends of the great international planners of the time. ”

Similar to Central Park, Parque do Flamengo is more than a recreational area. Known for attracting thousands of visitors a day for outdoor activites like biking, walking The area is also home to the Rio de Janeiro Museum of Modern Art (MAM), Vivo Rio, the Carmen Miranda Museum, and the Monumento aos Mortos na 2ª Guerra Mundial (Monument for the World War II Dead).

Additionally, during the upcoming 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, the Parque do Flamengo will host several events includes cycling and marathon competitions and paralympic track and field competitions.

The Jardim de Memórias: Parque do Flamengo 50 anos exhibition will remain open through November 29th on Tuesdays through Sundays from 1PM to 7PM. Entrance is free.

What: Jardim de Memórias: Parque do Flamengo 50 anos (Garden of Memories – 50 Years of Parque do Flamengo When: Thursday, October 1st through Novemeber 29th. Tuesdays through Sundays, 1PM- 7PM.
Where: Centro Cultural Correios, Rua Visconde de Itaboraí, 20 – Centro
Entrance: FREE

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