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Heritage Recovery and Cultural Development in Havana: Segundo Cabo Palace

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The project “Heritage Recovery and Cultural Development in Havana: Segundo Cabo Palace” is a multilateral cooperation initiative of the European Union and UNESCO, implemented from 2010 to 2014 by the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, based in Havana. The project aimed to restore the Segundo Cabo Palace, a flagship monument in Old Havana, and reinforce cooperation between Cuba and the European Union in the fields of culture and heritage by creating in the building the Centre for the Interpretation of Cultural Relations between Cuba and Europe.

The Office of the Historian of the City of Havana (OHCH) was directly in charge of the restoration works and of implementing the cultural programme, as part of its functions in the management of "Old Havana and its System of Fortifications", a site of Outstanding Universal Value that was declared World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1982.

The Project, aimed at the rapprochement of cultures and intercultural dialogue, was funded by the European Union (EU) Thematic Programme “Investing in People” and received contributions made by UNESCO and the OHCH.

Once the building was restored, a second project called “Integrated, participatory and sustainable management for the local development of the Historic Centre and Havana Bay” was implemented between 2014 and 2017. The project made it possible to complete the museographic proposal and to purchase and install the technological equipment, lighting and interior decoration required for the permanent exhibition halls.

The Centre for the Interpretation of Cultural Relations between Cuba and Europe began its sociocultural work in September 2015. Its permanent halls were inaugurated on 9 May 2017, to commemorate Europe Day.

The facility offers novel museography that uses new information and communication technologies (ICTs) as part of a museographic discourse that becomes a meeting place between both regions in the fields of culture and heritage. It includes halls dedicated to the trips made by Christopher Columbus to the New World, the imagery of an America forged by natives and immigrants, the evolution of the cartography of the island of Cuba, as well as a monographic hall on the history of the Segundo Cabo Palace and its restoration process.

The Centre offers spaces on Arrivals and Migrations, Architecture and Urbanism, Cartography, Music, Dance and other artistic expressions. It also has a hall for girls and boys, another for adolescents and young people, a mediatheque, transitory exhibition rooms and a multipurpose hall equipped with a modern projection system, among other facilities.

Thanks to its modern equipment, the Centre is able to provide services such as audiovisual materials, panels with infographics, technological equipment for searching and enlarging visual information, tactile tables and virtual trips through transcendental stages of history.

Development of the Project, 2010-2014

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Images of historic evolution

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Web site of the project 
Office of the Historian of the City of Havana 
European Union Delegation to Cuba 
Culture and Development 8. Museums and Heritage. 
Brochure Segundo Cabo Palace © OHCH 
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