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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Hemingway Centre Opens in Cuba to Preserve Writer's Work

Media & Culture

7Dnews London

Sun, 31 Mar 2019 11:54 GMT

A new centre opened in Cuba to commemorate the work of US writer, Ernest Hemingway, on Saturday March 30th, marking old ties between the US and Cuba, even if currently bilateral ties between the old Cold War foes have cooled down again.

Hemingway, who received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954, wrote some of his greatest books during the 21 years he lived at Finca Vigia, or Lookout Farm, now a museum in San Francisco de Paula on the outskirts of Havana.

The restored centre built by the Cuban National Cultural Heritage Council and the Finca Vigia Foundation of the U S, is located on the 15-acre (6-hectare) property where Hemingway lived in a tree-shaded, airy 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 who wants better US-Cuban relations, said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

However, 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 Vigia in 1939 when he was already a successful writer and war correspondent, and the year before one of his most famous novels, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" was published. He went on to write more acclaimed novels when he moved to Cuba, including "The Old Man and the Sea," for which he won the Nobel Prize for literature. 

But in 1960 he left Cuba, more than a year after the Cuban revolution, and less than a year before he killed himself in Idaho at age 61 after a struggle with depression. 

Hemingway left thousands of documents in Cuba, ranging from manuscripts of some of his works to letters, as well as photographs and annotated books, which the restoration centre, which received funds from the Ford Foundation, American Express Philanthropy and the AT&T Foundation amongst others, is curating and preserving in air-conditioned facilities.  

The Cuban National Cultural Heritage Council and Finca Vigia Foundation had previously signed three cooperation agreements to conserve and disseminate the legacy of Hemingway .


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