Funny how a newspaper article can draw attention to a law passed a year & a half ago. La Nación reported on 17 Nov 2015 that Recoleta Cemetery would begin to charge an admission fee soon… well, maybe.
The city legislature passed Law 4977 in May 2014, establishing a series of measures to guarantee burial rights to all residents of Buenos Aires as well as promote architectural heritage & culture to visitors. It’s about time some regulations were put into place… I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to bite my tongue because I overheard guides give false information during a tour!
Chapter 4 of Law 4977 breaks the situation down in seven sections:
- Article 136 establishes a body for regulating tourism within all Buenos Aires cemeteries.
- Article 137 requires that all tour guides must be registered & fulfill all city guide requirements.
- Article 138 states that all tour guides—whether they are registered or not—must take special training to lead tours inside public cemeteries.
- Article 139 creates a General Cemetery Tourism Fund that will receive income from tourist fees as well as the sale of books, posters, etc.
- Article 140 exempts the collection of fees from students of all ages who visit cemeteries for educational purposes, also retirees & Argentine nationals who visit without a guide.
- Article 141 grants control of funds to a specific body.
- Article 142 informs that conservation, maintenance & production of materials to be sold will be paid for via the General Cemetery Tourism Fund (apparently falling out of jurisdiction of the Asociación de Amigos)
No specifics are mentioned as to the amount to be charged or a deadline to have some system in place.
For several years I have followed a blog written by the Asociación de Guías de Turismos de Buenos Aires (AGuiTBA). On November 10th—a week before the article in La Nación—they posted that a big meeting had been held with the General Director of Cemeteries, tourism agencies & other interested parties. An agreement was reached to postpone charging any national or foreign tourists 100 pesos, previously set to take effect on November 15th. The main reason for postponement was that many operators had already been paid for tours which included a visit to the Recoleta Cemetery.
So by our understanding a fee is coming. Likely 100 pesos. But the date has yet to be set. As more information becomes available, we’ll post it here.