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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