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Conservation and Restoration prizes awarded in Cuba on the occasion of International Day for Monuments and Sites
The province of Cienfuegos deserves again the prizes for Conservation and Restoration in 2024
Photo: National Council of Cultural Heritage of Cuba.
22 April 2024/ UNESCO Havana

With the aim of raising awareness about the relevance, diversity and vulnerability of the cultural heritage of humanity, as well as the efforts required for its protection and conservation, the International Day for Monuments and Sites has been celebrated in most parts of the world on 18 April.

In Cuba, the presentation of the National Monument Conservation and Restoration Prizes awarded annually by the National Council for Cultural Heritage (CNPC) is one of the most important events taking place on the occasion of that day.

This year, the ceremony took place on 20 April, at the headquarters of the National Library of Cuba "José Martí" (BNCJM).

In the Conservation category, the National Prize was awarded to the private house Finca Aguadita, in the village of Limones, municipality of Rodas, Cienfuegos, owned by Camilo Cabrera Otero.

According to the jury, the highest award was conferred for the meritorious and systematic work of conservation of an important testimony of 19th century domestic architecture; for the sensitivity of its owners who have managed to preserve the main attributes on which the values of this property rest, and for the correct preparation of the dossier that exhaustively informs how this conservation has been planned and executed.

In this category, the jury also awarded a special mention and two honourable mentions.

The National Prize in the Restoration category was awarded to the Hotel Meliá San Carlos, also in the province of Cienfuegos, for its integral rehabilitation, carried out by the principal designer Aníbal Barrera Barcia, the principal investor, Yuri Quevedo Pupo, and the principal executor, Javier Librado Arango Díaz.

The jury valued the comprehensiveness of the studies and interventions carried out on an emblematic building in the historic centre of the city, which was in a high degree of deterioration. It highlighted the complexity of the work carried out, taking into account the height of the building; the respect with which the new furniture and carpentry were introduced; the correct solutions to the complex demands of technologically adapting a building almost a century old to contemporary requirements; the quality of the information provided, and the rehabilitation and enhancement of a work of urban, architectural, historical and cultural value.

In addition to the Prize, two honourable mentions were also awarded in this category.

Special prizes were also awarded by organisations and institutions committed to the conservation of monumental heritage in Cuba, such as the National Union of Historians of Cuba, the Committee for the Conservation of Industrial Heritage and AZCUBA, among others.

As part of the celebration, the president of the CNPC, Sonia Pérez Mojena, made public the resolution for the creation of the Network of Heritage Cemeteries.

During the event, the book Patrimonio de la Humanidad en Cuba was also presented, a publication with beautiful images of the heritage jewels that the Cuban archipelago treasures, works of the outstanding lens artist Julio Larramendi, also highlighted by the president of the CNPC.

The CNPC also recognised the BNCJM for its extraordinary historical and cultural value, its important heritage collection and its dedicated commitment to the collection and conservation of these assets.

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