It takes two countries to tango

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They take the tango seriously in South America, where Uruguay and Argentina have squabbled for years over which country gave birth to the sensual dance.

Now comes a report in the Observer that the culture ministries of Montevideo and Buenos Aires have set aside their rivalry to jointly petition the United Nations’ cultural agency UNESCO to grant tango world heritage status.

The British newspaper reports that if UNESCO approves the status, both cities plan to build tango museums with permanent exhibits on each side of the Rio de la Plata (a.k.a. the River Plate).

The impetus for collaboration stems from tango’s explosion in popularity. Could ‘Dancing With the Stars’ have anything to do with it? Celebrity tangos may not be as impressive as dances seen on the streets of San Telmo, but the pairing of Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff was pretty seductive.


-- Sherry Stern