Crime & Justice

Historic Buenos Aires café loses iconic plaque to theft

Buenos Aires, Feb 12 (efe-epa).- Café Tortoni is an indelible feature of Buenos Aires, a historic haunt of international intellectuals and a local establishment since its founding in 1958 but now its frequenters are in mourning over the robbery of the oldest plaque from its facade.

A person whose identity has yet to be tracked down stole the 120-year-old bronze plaque, which served almost like the café’s patent, on 29 January, Nicolás Prado, one of Tortoni’s managers, told Efe.

“It was an emblem, an icon of the café,” he continued.

Police believe the thief acted alone and removed the plaque from the exterior at night. Tortoni’s managers think it would have been taken for its value in scrap metal, rather than its history.

“It’s to melt down and sell, I don’t believe they would have known its historical value. I don’t think they knew what they were taking,” Prado said. “The reality is this — it no longer exists, but well, now we have to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

Café Tortoni is a tourist hotspot in the Argentine capital, and has attracted its fair share of famous figures over the years, from authors and poets like Jorge Luis Borges and Federico García Lorca to scientists such as Albert Einstein and politicians including Hillary Clinton. EFE-EPA


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