Are you are having trouble finding parking at this shopping mall in Contagem, Minas Gerais, Brazil? Blame the Boeing 737-200 sitting on the roof of the parking garage.

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The aircraft was placed there in January 2022. To get it on the roof, a crane capable of lifting up to 200 tons hoisted it up there. 

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Plans were to turn it into a wax museum.  During the Brazilian elections, it was used to promote one of the candidates to passing traffic. Yawn, boring. Someone came up with a much more fun and creative use. Now it is being used to host events and viewing parties for the World Cup.

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It was recently repainted with ‘Carna Copa’ illustrations to celebrate the World Cup by Pedro Figo, who created this unique World Cup-themed art. 

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The businessman who owns the mall, Mário Valadares, is fond of aviation, and also owns a helicopter used in the Vietnam War. 

About the airplane

In its past life, the 737 flew for VASP Viação Aérea São Paulo before the airline’s demise. During its time with VASP, this aircraft served as a Brazilian Air Force One backup and transported eight Brazilian past presidents. Pope John Paul II also took a ride onboard during his visit to Brazil in 1980.

Overall Impression

This is a great use of an airframe that can’t fly anymore. I seems to be a big hit with Brazilian fans.

This may be a silly question, but are you following the World Cup? More than football/soccer that is making the news there. Best of luck to all the teams. Go USA!