Cuban and US cultural institutions plan to keep working together to preserve the documents that belonged to Ernest Hemingway and are kept at Finca Vigia, the American writer’s home-turned-museum on the island, state media reported.
Cuban National Heritage Council president Margarita Ruiz and Finca Vigia Foundation officials Jenny Phillips and Bob Vila signed an agreement to continue the cooperation efforts that started in 2002, the official AIN news agency reported.
The two organisations agreed that this was the best way to "contribute to improving knowledge about the life and works of Hemingway" during the years he spent in Cuba, AIN said.
More than 3,000 letters and other documents belonging to the writer have been restored since conservation and digitalisation work started.
Among the items in the digital collection are the epilogue of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and the screenplay for "The Old Man and the Sea", as well as letters, coded texts and even insurance policies taken out by Hemingway.
Included in the digital collection is a large selection of the items at Finca Vigia, located some 20 km outside Havana and the legendary writer’s home on the island from 1939 to 1961.
Hemingway’s widow, Mary Welsh, donated Finca Vigia to the Cuban government to fulfil the writer’s last wish after he committed suicide July 2, 1961, in Idaho. The Hemingway collection at Finca Vigia contains approximately 22,000 items, including some 9,000 books, more than 3,000 letters and documents, and about 1,000 photographs, hunting trophies, weapons, and sports and fishing gear.
The Pilar, the fishing boat owned by Hemingway, is now on permanent display at the house, which was built by Catalan architect Miguel Pascual y Baguer, who bought the land in 1887 for use as a family vacation home.
In 1903, the building was sold to a Frenchman, who rented it in 1939 to Martha Gelhorn, Hemingway’s third wife, for 100 pesos a month. A year later, the writer became the new owner of the property.
It was at Finca Vigia that Hemingway wrote one of his most famous novels, "The Old Man and the Sea", for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1953.
One year later, Hemingway received the Nobel Prize for Literature.