Hemingway centre opens in Havana to preserve writer’s work

Hemingway centre opens in Havana to preserve writer's work

HAVANA,March 31th  A restoration centre to preserve the work of Ernest Hemingway has opened in Cuba, highlighting an area of cooperation with the US even as bilateral relations between the old cold war foes have chilled again.

Hemingway, who won the Nobel prize in literature in 1954, wrote some of his best-known works during the 21 years he lived at Finca Vigía, or Lookout Farm, now a museum in San Francisco de Paula on the outskirts of Havana.

The restoration centre, built by the Cuban national cultural heritage council and Finca Vigía Foundation of the US, is located on the six-hectare (15-acre) property where Hemingway lived in a tree-shaded, Spanish-style home.

“When we come together, when we work together, we can do positive and amazing things,” Jim McGovern, a US congressman for Massachusetts said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

 Hemingway centre opens in Havana to preserve writer's work

Jim McGovern holds up a framed picture of himself and Fidel Castro, at the inauguration of the centre in Havana on Saturday. Photograph: Ramón Espinosa/AP

McGovern said the project would have been much easier were it not for the decades-old US trade embargo on Cuba that President Donald Trump has tightened since coming to power.

Hemingway moved to Finca Vigía in 1939, the year before For Whom the Bell Tolls was published, and wrote The Old Man and the Sea, A Moveable Feast and Islands in the Stream while he was there, according to local scholars.

He left Cuba in 1960, a year after the Cuban revolution and a few months before he killed himself in Idaho at 61.

The writer left thousands of documents in Cuba, ranging from manuscripts of some of his works to letters, as well as photographs and annotated books.Hemingway centre opens in Havana to preserve writer's work

The centre, which received financing from the Ford Foundation, American Express Philanthropy and the AT&T Foundation among others, includes laboratories and an air-conditioned vault.

The Cuban National Cultural Heritage Council and Finca Vigía Foundation had previously signed three cooperation agreements to conserve and disseminate the writer’s legacy.