Hemingway's Cuba home in danger

Classic US author Ernest Hemingway's beloved house in Cuba is the latest inclusion in the list of "America's Most Endangered Historic Places".

    Hemingway lived in his Cuban home from 1939 to 1960

    The estate is a shrine to Hemingway, where he entertained celebrities there such as Ava Gardner and Gary Cooper.

    Hemingway lived at the Cuban Finca Vigia (Lookout Farm) from 1939 to 1960 and it was there he wrote "The Old Man and the Sea," the story of a struggle between a fisherman and a giant marlin that won him a Pulitzer and the Nobel Prize in literature.

    The crumbling nine-acre estate on a hill just east of Havana was left to the Cuban people after Hemingway's suicide in 1961 and is now a museum, housing books and manuscripts of the famed US novelist.

    Battered by hurricanes and exposed to the tropical climate of Cuba, the villa now has serious structural problems and experts have labelled it a "preservation emergency," said National Trust for Historic Preservation president Richard Moe.

    First time

    It is the first time a property outside the US has been included on the list, but Moe said the estate's great cultural value to America made it an easy decision.
       
    "Even though it's outside of the United States, it's an important part of our cultural heritage. Hemingway is such a revered literary figure in this country and around the world," he said, adding that "It deserves to be preserved." 
       

    "Even though it's outside of the United States, it's an important part of our cultural heritage"

    Richard Moe,
    National Trust for Historic Preservation

    The US Treasury Department granted the Trust and the Massachusetts-based Hemingway Preservation Foundation a licence last month to send a team of surveyors to the house.
       
    Permission is needed from the US authorities because of a US embargo against Cuba. An earlier request was denied by the Bush administration which said the project would support tourism and thus help the economy.
       
    Moe said the team planned to leave in a couple of days for Cuba, adding the group did not yet have the US bureaucratic go-ahead to spend money on restoring the home.
       
    Hemingway's home joined 10 other places on the annual list, such as North Alaska's King Island where structures that represented the rich culture of the Inupiat Eskimos were in danger of being washed into the Bering Sea.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.