US, Cuba to restore Hemingway’s home near Havana

Havana, June 21 (IANS) The US and Cuban authorities have announced a project to restore American Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway’s home near Havana, where he penned one of his most famous and last pieces of fiction, “The Old Man and the Sea”.

Hemingway stayed in Cuba for a long period of time, from 1939 until just before he committed suicide on July 2, 1961.

The famous writer originally stayed in the Ambos Mundos hotel in Havana and then moved out to his colonial-style residence, Finca Vigia.

An American foundation, restoring the legendary writer’s home in Cuba, on Saturday signed an agreement with the Cuban government to import construction material directly from the US to aid the preservation efforts, CNN reported on Sunday.

The joint US-Cuban project will build a workshop adjacent to Hemingway’s home in Cuba to restore and maintain thousands of the famed writer’s documents, rough drafts and letters.

Mary-Jo Adams, the executive director of the Boston-based Finca Vigia Foundation, named after the writer’s house, said the foundation has received approval from the American and Cuban governments to bring $860,000 worth of supplies from the US for the new construction.

In January, as part of a shift in the US policy towards Cuba, President Barack Obama authorised the exportation of building materials to the island for the first time since the US broke relations with the island following the 1959 revolution.

His widow, Mary, donated the house to the Cuban government, which displays Hemingway’s books, clothing and even a collection of fermented lizards.

Many of Hemingway’s works are considered classics of American literature. Some of the most famous include “A Farewell to Arms” (1929), “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (1940) and “The Old Man and the Sea” (1951) for which he received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.

He also won the Pulitzer Prize in May 1952.

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