Renovation of the Palacio del Segundo Cabo in Havana, Cuba
Twenty years after its inscription on the World heritage List, Old Havana continues to develop a sustainable renovation model. Preservation and cultural creation do not include only the heritage. It has reached other sectors and thus has improved life standard of the inhabitants as well as the social use of cultural heritage. This model is an example of how to use the heritage as a factor of development and social investment. It was awarded many international prizes.
The project of renovation and rehabilitation of the Palacio del Segundo Cabo in Old Havana was launched on 3 November 2009 by Karel de Gucht, European Commissioner for Trade, Herman van Hoof, Director of UNESCO Office in Havana and Dr Eusebio Leal, Director of the Office of the Historian of Havana, which has so far undertaken enormous efforts to preserve and restore Old Havana. A masterpiece of Cuban architecture of the 18th century located in Arms Square, the Palacio del Segundo Cabo is on the World Heritage List since 1982 and is a part of the world heritage site “Old Havana and its System of Fortresses.” It is being renovated and turned in a new avant-garde cultural center to strengthen cultural dialogue in the region.
The project offers a unique opportunity to showcase the palace and also to provide the city with an exceptional universal value. Its aim is to contribute to the rapprochement of cultures and also to facilitate the continuation of the renovation process of the world heritage site. The preparatory work is under way, including experts’ workshops aiming at exchanging experiences and discussing the overall concept of the renovation and the best cultural use of the site.
This initiative is funded under the EU thematic programme Investing in People and it is coordinated by UNESCO Office in Havana. The Office of the Historian is then the entity in charge of the restoration works and of the implementation of the cultural programme to be developed in the Palace, which is also part of the programme for the renovation of Old Havana.