Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's former home near Havana were shocked to see it in such disrepair. Cubans and Americans are trying to restore the house.
HAVANA - Tropical fruit trees and manicured gardens greet visitors driving through Ernest Hemingway's sprawling estate on the outskirts of Havana, but the wooden home where the famed American novelist lived more than 20 years is falling apart.
Scaffolding covers the molding house, where much of the furniture has been removed due to moisture damage and to make room for restoration work. Americans in Havana for a forum on the late writer this week were surprised at the sight.
''It's not like what you see in the photographs,'' University of Pennsylvania professor Paul Hendrickson said as he peered through the windows of Hemingway's study, where a leopard skin still stretched across a couch but several other items were covered with plastic tarps. ``This is really in a more fragile state than I had guessed.''
Erosion, tropical humidity and botched repairs are threatening the house where Hemingway spent some of his happiest years and wrote the prize-winning classic The Old Man and the Sea. The hacienda that has served as a cultural bridge for Cubans and Americans has also fallen victim to politics...