From Inside Cuba Distributed by The Cuba Free Press Project July 3, 1997 The Unknown Museum. By Nestor E. Baguer, APIC, 7/3/97 More than a hundred thousand people travel daily through Monumental Avenue, in hundreds of vehicles, and only a few dozen of them know that, just a few meters before getting to the naval hospital, you can find one of the most unique museums in Cuba. It is the Museum of East Havana, which contains valuable collections from our indigenous culture, as well as that of the colony, the republic, and the revolutionary period which narrate the history of this municipality from the time of the conquest and colonization until the present. The most unique factor in this cultural center is that it is the only one in Cuba which is underground. Curious, isn't it? The reason is simple. The museum is located in what used to be Battery 3 of the Spanish army garrison which served as additional defense to the Morro Castle and Cabana. The Battery only had cannons above the ground and behind the walls. But the troops' quarters and the powder kegs were underground for greater protection. Hence, and fortunately, the place hasn't been changed and it is just like it was when it was occupied by the Spanish solders. If only to view this military piece of architecture, it is worth it to visit this museum. However, this valuable historical-cultural institution now needs support. It is located in the area of the city called Camilo Cienfuegos and across from a shooting field. But to reach the museum from the bus stop you must walk two kilometers, even if there's a road leading up to the main entrance for those traveling by car. It needs restoration of the galeries, as well as the construction of a cafeteria, which is already in the plans of the municipality, as well as, the lighting of the small road which connects it to Camilo Cienfuegos so that it can be visited at night. We were so attracted by this unique museum that we had a rare conversation with its director, a young, competent historian well informed about the future plans for the museum, details of which we won't give at this time so as not to make this report longer, and also because, due to the problems of this special period, the plans have been suspended. I certainly hope that we can recover this historical museum in East Havana. The end. Translation.
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