Memorias de un cañón El Cristiano is a cannon that was made in Paraguay's 19th Century iron foundry Ybycui from 12 melted down church bells (hence the name). It weighs almost 11 tons and was captured in the war it was mobilized in - the 1865-1870 Triple Alliance War fought by Paraguay against Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. The cannon was taken as war trophy and the iron foundry was destroyed. Today El Cristiano is in Rio de Janeiro's National Museum, the same one that was partially destroyed by a fire in 2018. (El Cristiano was, obviously, unaffected by the fire.) What I find so interesting about El Cristiano is that it is constantly brought up in diplomatic disputes between Paraguay and Brazil. Paraguay demands its return and the Museo Nacional de Brasil, as most museums do, refuses to repatriate the cannon. This inevitably devoles into heated arguments on patriotism, nationalism, and the right of war victors and war vanquished. 150 years after its creation El Cristiano is still a weapon, though a soft one, now deployed in name only. It speaks to historical and contemporary international relations between Paraguay and Brazil and to the role of museums (and other art/cultural institutions) in mediating ensuing conflicts and tensions. The title "Memoria de un cañón", a reference to Do Ho Suh.