Cuban exile activist to auction what he says is lock of Che Guevaras’ hair
MIAMI | A former CIA operative and Cuban exile plans to auction a lock of Che Guevara’s hair, snipped before the Argentinian revolutionary was buried in 1967.
Gustavo Villoldo, 71, was involved in Guevara’s capture in the jungles of Bolivia, according to unclassified U.S. records and other documents. He plans to auction the strands of hair and other items kept in a scrapbook since the joint CIA-Bolivian army mission 40 years ago.
“It’s time for me to put the past behind and pass these on to someone else,” said Villoldo, also a veteran of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.
Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas will hold the auction Oct. 25-26. The scrapbook also includes the map Villoldo used to track down Guevara in Bolivia, photographs of Guevara’s body, messages intercepted between Guevara and his rebels and a set of Guevara’s fingerprints taken before his burial.
It’s hard to predict how much the items will net at auction because there is nothing comparable on the market, said Tom Slater, director of Heritage Auctions’ Americana department.
“We cannot recall ever having seen artifacts relating to Che’s dramatic career and death appearing on the auction market, and we expect this offering to excite broad bidder interest,” Slater said, noting that Guevara has become an icon in popular culture around the world.
“Some will come for the historical value of the items; others may simply collect the hair of famous people,” he said.