Tuesday, June 10, 2008

For sale

There’s a sad story in the London Times about Finca Vigia, the Hemingway house in Cuba.

There has been lots of news coverage of the American organizations that obtained U.S. government licenses, at times with difficulty, to work on this house, providing technical assistance and training to help restore the house, and to preserve and create a digital archive of the documents it contains.

The house is a museum that one views from outside, through the windows and doorways.

I have seen the docents offer to let a small group inside for a small amount of money, when no other visitors were present. Harmless enough. I have also seen a docent offer to cut a page out of a book in Hemingway’s library – a page with his signature – and sell it for ten dollars.

The writer of this Times article has seen something far worse. So as some Cubans and Americans work to preserve this treasure, others are doing the opposite. Formally, the Ministry of Culture is in charge.


Anonymous said...

I know that when they repainted the house a worker painted over the wall in the bathroom where Hemingway made notes about his daily weight. Apparently they tried to remove the new paint when someone realized the mistake, but I don't know the final result. Like most things of value in Cuba, its historical worth will continue to be chipped away over time in spite of some people's good intentions.

Anonymous said...

there are a lot of sad stories about Cuba...I don't know if this is one of them.

leftside said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Everything is for sale in Cuba.

Anonymous said...

Cuba is probably the best preserved place in the world. Everything is for sale under capitalism, not socialism. There is corruption everywhere. And it is not helped by a "journalist" who insists on illegally entering historic premises that are off-limits and then browsing through priceless first edition books. I wonder why this "secret police" agent thought he was corrupt.