UNESCO designated as a World Heritage site on 11 June the original documents detailing the founding of Havana, along with royal decrees, governors’ rulings, legal findings, deeds and numerous other details of colonial life between 1550 and 1898. The designation is one of many related to the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana, one of the oldest cities in the Americas, which will be marked this November.
The documents are held in a specially built repository in Old Havana, amongst the picturesque plazas and historic colonial buildings which have been systemically restored over the last 25 years, under the guidance of City Historian Eusebio Leal. The thousands of documents provide an intimate glimpse into the life of Havana and Cuba under Spanish rule up to the Spanish-American War of 1898. It’s the latest accolade for Cuba from the UN cultural body, which has already declared parts of Old Havana a significant cultural and historical site.
Link to report by AP below
City Historian Leal was in Paris last week to give a lecture about the restoration of Havana.
During the lecture, the prestigious intellectual summarized the historic formation of Cuba’s cultural identity and the multicultural wealth of the nation.
Leal also talked about the restoration works in the Historic Heart of Old Havana, and the social impact of preservation works on the cultural heritage of the city, which will celebrate its 500th anniversary in November.
The historian expressed his conviction about the commitment by future Cuban generations to the preservation of the most genuine elements of Cuban culture, as the core of our aspirations for social justice.
The lecture was organized by the Hispanic Antilles and Latin America Interdisciplinary Research Group (GRIAHAL) and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Contemporary Iberian Worlds (CRIMIC), in the framework of the Latin America and Caribbean Week in France.