When Ana Elizabeth González was growing up in Panama, the history she learned about the Panama Canal in school told a narrow story about the engineering feat of the Canal’s construction by the United States.
Today, González is executive Director of the Panama Canal Museum, and she’s determined to use the Canal and the struggles over its authority to tell a broader story about the history of Panama – one centered around Panama as a point of connection from pre-Colonial times to the present day.
In this episode, González describes the geographic destiny of the Isthmus of Panama, how America’s ownership of the Canal physically divided the country, and how her team is developing galleries covering Panama’s recent history.
🎉 Museum Archipelago's 100th Episode Party 🎉
Museum Archipelago is turning 100, and you’re invited! Whether this is your first episode or your 98th, I’m so happy you’re listening. How I want to celebrate is by hearing from you. To do that, I’ve set up a place on the internet where you can send a voice memo to be included in Museum Archipelago’s upcoming 100th episode.
Visit museumarchieplago.com/party to join the celebration. Looking forward to hearing from you, and thanks for listening!
Archipelago at the Movies🍿Старики́–разбо́йники (Granddads-Robbers) (1972)
Today, we peek behind the Iron Curtain to watch our first museum heist movie from the Soviet Union.
It's called Granddads-Robbers or Старики́–разбо́йники. The titular granddads are friends: Nikolay is a detective who is being pushed out of his job because he hasn't solved a crime in two months. Valentin, who has just arrived from his own retirement party, comes up with the idea to commit the crime of the century just so that Nikolay can solve it in front of his boss. Committing the crime and then being the heroes that solve it seems like the perfect way to return to the relevance of their youth.
So they decide to steal a Rembrandt painting from the local museum.
But the granddads are too good—or at least too invisible to the rest of society due to their age and retirement. They successfully steal the painting, but nobody suspects that anything’s amiss.
It's a fascinating ride, with creepy dream sequences, some early museum heist tropes, and Soviet jokes. It looks, feels, and sounds unlike anything we've seen before, and your hosts have seen a lot of museum movies.