In 1959 Juan Santiago Bouchon arrived from France to Nono, Cordoba, Argentina with a vision and a passion for collecting. Ten years later he opened a “multifaceted museum” dedicated to mankind and its works. He started out with a small display in an old property inherited from his family but now he has expanded his collection to include near 23,000 pieces.
Mr. Bouchon was born in Niza (France) in 1928 and he claims to have been a keen collector since childhood. Now, at age 87, he owns the biggest and most interesting private collection of archeological and anthropological pieces in Argentina, which includes everything from mineral samples and animal skeletons, to pieces of aboriginal art, all sorts of antiques, male and female clothing from all ages, cutlery, art, toys, crystals, weapons, music instruments, and “every single piece of machinery ever made by men.”
The whole collection is arranged by theme. There are eight different rooms and you might find lots of small treasures and also some bizarre displays, like the two-headed cow or the human skulls. Every single room is completely filled with magical pieces right up to the ceiling so the list of wonders is nearly endless.
The owner loves every single piece in his sprawling collection, and he can tell you what it is, where it came from and who invented it. Bouchon studied Anthropology and Arts in Paris, and he claims to be “self taught” in Natural Science, amongst other things.
The front door is guarded by 49 handmade statues (“because 7 x 7 equals 49,” he explains) of the most prominent people from all over the world. The list includes Leonardo Da Vinci, Saint John The Baptist, Johannes Gutenberg, Saint Francis, and Mahatma Ghandi. “All of them have one thing in common: they’ve all made a big contribution to mankind, they were all pacifists and above all, they were humanists.”
The Rocsen Museum has an internet site, but to be fair it doesn’t do any justice to the actual museum. The exhibit shows about 23,000 different pieces and the number keeps growing every day thanks to people’s donations and Bouchon’s eagerness to “complete” his collection. Bouchon is also an active member of the International Council of Museums (I.C.O.M.) and head of the Buenos Aires Society of Anthropology and Medical History.
Know Before You Go
Phone : (54) 03544-498-218 and 03544-498-065