'Secret Rio' Uncovers the Obscurities of Rio de Janeiro

The book is a revelation for a city eternally dogged by stereotypes of beaches, bikinis and crime.
An aerial view of Rio de Janeiro features landmarks Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain.
12_16_Rio_04 Source: Getty

It’s a glorious Monday morning in Rio de Janeiro, and I’m standing outside the city’s Municipal Theatre with Manoel de Almeida e Silva, an author and former spokesman for the U.N. He is a neat man, with a head of soft gray curls, and he is carrying a backpack. He is explaining how a statue of Carlos Gomes, Brazil’s most famous composer, came to be here.

In the 1940s, he tells me, Polish expats in Rio commissioned a statue of composer Frédéric Chopin to replace one destroyed by the Nazis in Warsaw a few years earlier. The Chopin statue was originally placed in Urca, a neighborhood near Sugarloaf Mountain, but in 1951, the city’s mayor had it moved in front of the municipal theater, where the great Polish

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from Newsweek

Newsweek4 min readSociety
Journalist's Fearless Investigation of Mexico Massacre
Journalist Anabel Hernández has been investigating collusion between government officials and drug cartels, as well as the illicit drug trade and abuse of power, for Mexico’s biggest publications for more than two decades.
Newsweek3 min readSociety
Jill Soloway Reflects on 'Transparent' in New Memoir
In "She Wants It," Soloway tells the story of the hit Amazon show—from the beginning to its messy end.
Newsweek7 min readPolitics
How a Social Media Post in Russia Can Land You in Jail
It was just before 6 a.m. when police officers raided Daniil Markin’s apartment in Barnaul, a small Russian city some 2,000 miles from Moscow. Markin, a film student who was 18 at the time of the July 2017 raid, had no idea why police had burst into