U.S. and Cuban Officials Collaborate to Preserve Hemingway Memorabilia

Gorupdebesanez via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
Gorupdebesanez via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0 / Gorupdebesanez via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Ernest Hemingway called many places home during his life. But it was his time spent in Cuba that’s proven troublesome for U.S. officials wishing to reclaim artifacts left behind by the late writer. Now, in light of the easing tensions between the U.S. and Cuba, AP reports that representatives from the both nations are working together to save what’s left of Hemingway’s Cuban estate.

In 1940, the author bought a house outside Havana, Cuba with his third wife Martha Gellhorn. He filled it with books, documents, fishing rods, hunting trophies, and many other items that have remained largely undisturbed since his death in 1961. Finca Vigia or “lookout farm” was neglected throughout the Cold War between the U.S. and Cuba, and now plans are finally being made to save the lost artifacts.

Officials and scholars from the two counties met at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston on Wednesday, October 12 to discuss the preservation initiative. The Kennedy Library houses the world’s largest of collection of Hemingway memorabilia, including books from his private library and a hand-written first draft of The Sun Also Rises. Hemingway was known to be a pack rat—a habit that’s left scholars with a rich trove of artifacts to refer back to. It also makes a lot of work for whoever has to sift through it all: According to the director of Cuba's Museo Hemingway, Finca Vigia contains over 23,000 pieces.

[h/t AP]

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