Argentina And Uruguay Dance To Same Tune

Argentina and Uruguay have decided to settle their differences over the origins of the tango. For more than a century the two countries have argued over which was the birthplace of the sultry dance. This week they decided to share credit for its invention.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

Argentina and Uruguay finally agree - it does take two to tango. For years, the two countries have vied over which created the dance that's considered the closest thing to canoodling on two feet. Uruguay claims the tango was invented in Montevideo. Argentina says, it was created in the poor neighborhoods of Buenos Aires. The two nations have decided to unite to petition UNESCO, the U.N.'s cultural agency, to grant tango world heritage status. Each country hopes to establish a tango museum in its capital city. Eduardo Leon Duter, director of culture from Montevideo told Britain's Observer newspaper this week, the dominant factor is that tango is something we share. While it's good the tango is spreading around the world, alterations invariably begin to creep in. There are certain original elements that need to be preserved. But no two nations are competing to claim credit for inventing the Macarena.

(Soundbite of "Tres Amigos" by Canaro, Francisco y Su Orquesta Tipica)

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