Cultural buildings suffer damage from Hurricane Irma

In a press conference, Vice Minister of Culture Guillermo Solenzal said that the most damaged provinces as regards cultural centres and buildings were Villa Clara, Camagüey, Matanzas, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spíritus and Havana, where there has been damage from very mild to severe as well as landslides partial and total.

Solenzal considered among the most affected buildings was the record company Egrem's warehouse in Cienfuegos, and the library in the town called Falla near Chambas in Ciego de Ávila, that lost 80% of its books.

The Vice Minister, however, stressed that despite the damage classes in all academic institutions that have the resources have already started.

Located in the central Havana district, the Lezama Lima house was reached by floods that soaked diplomas, letters, and other documents belonging to the Lezama archive.

To counteract the damage, Gladys Collazo, president of the National Heritage Council, organised conservationists to desalinise these documents of patrimonial value.

"At this moment they are dry and well protected. There was no loss of heritage, "said Collazo, who also highlighted the protection work carried out at the Ernest Hemingway Museum, located in San Francisco de Paula, San Miguel del Padrón.

"In the Hemingway Museum there were no losses, the windows were reinforced in a dismantling job that had never been done before, except for the capital repair done in 2006," he added.

Rolando Ortega Álvarez, director of the national network of Art Schools (specialist high schools), indicated that there were no significant effects in any of the 37 schools belonging to that level of education and that 14 of these centres are already functioning.

The most affected, he said, were the elementary art school in Camagüey and the Matanzas Elementary School, which suffered damage to their floors. Except for these schools, the rest should already be ready to restart the school year next Monday.

The University of the Arts (ISA) also did not suffer strongly from the damage wreaked by Irma. The rector, Alexis Seijo, explained that they did not suffer significant losses of materials or to the buildings and grounds.

The only centre where they have not been able to reestablish the classes is the Faculty of Audiovisual Media which was penetrated by the sea flooding, but it would be bakc up and running in the next days, he indicated.

The main problems in the cultural centres of Havana were in Trompoloco Tent, which lost part of its roof, and the Mella theatre where unprecedented floods were reported.

The president of the Heritage Council praised the rapid preservation of heritage assets in the aftermath of the hurricane.

"There were no losses to the collections of the 34 museums due to previous work. All the museums were dismantled and the collections were carefully guarded, "he said.

Read the original report in Granma in spanish

translated by Google Translate and Cuba50