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Hemingway's Cuban home imperiled

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HAVANA, Oct 6, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- The Cuban home of author Ernest Hemingway is beginning to fall apart, and U.S. conservationists are being stymied at saving it by U.S. regulations.

Hemingway lived in the hilltop villa among mango and guava trees, just south of Havana from 1939 to 1960, after moving from his home in Key West, Fla.

Now, termites, and a leaking roof are threatening the soundness of the structure, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

The Cuban government has allotted $340,000 for first-phase restoration of the house, but Cuba's National Center for Cultural Patrimony estimates it will cost up to $3 million to preserve the villa.

Jenny Phillips, co-founder of the Boston-based Hemingway Preservation Foundation said the group was denied a U.S. license last year to help fund restoration efforts because of the 40-year-old U.S. embargo on travel and trade with the communist island.

"The house is treasured by the Cubans -- they're not going to let this house sink into the ground and rot," Phillips said "But in a resource-deprived economy, the work may not be done at the highest standards.

"That is why we feel a sense of urgency and responsibility to get on board."


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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