Resistencia ) is the capital and largest city in the province of Chaco, in northeastern Argentina. At the 2001 census, the population of the Resistencia city proper was 274,490 inhabitants. It is the anchor of a slightly larger metropolitan area, Greater Resistencia, which comprises three more municipalities and has a 2008 population estimate of 377,000. This metro area is the largest in the province, and the eleventh most populous in the country.Located along the Negro River, a branch of the much larger Paraná river, the area was originally inhabited by some guaycuru aboriginals, such as the tobas. Their resistance to evangelisation postponed an efficient European settlement until the late 19th century. It wasn't until 1865 that a proper settlement was established, and on January 27, 1878, Resistencia was formally established as the territorial capital. The national government supported immigration, and in 1878 the first Italian immigrants arrived. The first City Council was made up entirely of members from that country.Resistencia is known nationally as the "city of sculptures" and "open air museum," due to the more than 500 monuments and other works of art spread among its streets. This is partly the legacy of sculptor Erminio Blotta, who relocated to the area following a 1917 accident that left him nearly totally blind; one of his best-known works, The Anxiety of Light, graces a downtown corner.The city organizes the Biennial International Sculptures Contest since 1988; after the contest, the sculptures remain in the city for public display in parks or sidewalks. Since 1997, the event has been sponsored by UNESCO. Resistencia is also home to a number of museums, including the René Bruseau Provincial Museum of Fine Arts, the Augusto Schulz Museum of Natural History, the Juan Alfredo Martinet Museum of Anthropology, the Ichoalay Cultural Museum, and the Ertivio Acosta Museum of Man in Chaco.The city has been served by Resistencia International Airport since 1965; its terminal, completed in 1971, was designed by renowned modernist architect Amancio Williams. Its access via highways includes National Route 11 (north to south), National Route 16 (westbound), and the General Belgrano Bridge, which has connected Resistencia to its twin port city of Corrientes since 1973. Following the closure of rail lines in the area during the privatization of the nation's railways in the early 1990s, the city's rail links were re-established with the opening of the provincially-funded Sefecha line in 1997.The city's economy, originally based on agriculture and trade, has evolved into the service sector in recent decades. According to the national statistics agency, the city is the poorest in the country, with the 55.6% if its inhabitants below the income poverty line in 2006.