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Ecuador and Cuba strengthen cultural ties in Havana

Published: 2018.02.09 - 16:17:41   /  /  Miguel Darío García Porto  /  translated by  Luis E. Amador Dominguez  /

Ecuador and Cuba strengthen cultural ties in Havana

A dream of art brought together two significant personalities from Ecuador and Cuba: Osvaldo Guayasamín and Fidel Castro, who accompanied the Ibero-American Painter in obtaining funds for the construction of the Capilla del Hombre.

The Casa Osvaldo Guayasamín in Havana shows these days the exhibition ‘De cuba a Ecuador: El hábito de compartir’, in which a cigar humidor is displayed in the largest archipelago of the Antilles and that attests to that joint effort by both intellectuals to found this emblematic art museum in Quito.

With this exhibition two institutions of the Historical Center of Havana commemorate its foundation this year: the Oswaldo Guayasamín House and the Cigar Museum.

In 1985, the Quito maestro had the idea of making a monumental work that was a non-religious chapel, but a chapel of Latin American man: "The Capilla del Hombre moves away from the religious. It will be a center of meditation, a place where you can reflect on the trajectory of humanity in this continent, from centuries ago up to our days," said Guayasamín.

And from that idea, they started to develop the monumental work that had the decisive support of Cuba through the habanos, because these were placed inside the humidors designed by the maestro Guayasamín, with a 24-carat gold bath.

According to history, the series was auctioned in Havana with the presence of the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, and the work also includes a certificate of authenticity signed by the Commander in Chief, which gives it extraordinary value for these wooden boxes made with red oak from the Amazon rainforest and bronze fittings.

The humidor that is exhibited is one of the fifty elaborated in a second edition, which was launched in December 2006 - the first was made in 1997 during the Habano Festival, and with the presence of Fidel and Guayasamín himself, which was auctioned precisely to raise funds for the construction of the Capilla del Hombre, "a tribute to being American, flesh and soul forged between the glory and suffering lived between the centuries of pre-Columbian history and the European conquest and colonization."

The piece is accompanied by photographs that attest the moment of the auction, as well as internal and external views of this great art museum.

The organizers of the exhibition underline that this represented "the contribution of Cuba to the brotherly people of Ecuador and especially as a dedication to the enthusiastic, human and artistic work of the Ibero-American Painter. A gesture that is possible thanks to the friendship between the Ecuadorian creator and the Cuban president, and the ties of brotherhood established since they met in 1961."

The Capilla del Hombre is a cultural center that arises as a response to the need to pay tribute to the human being, their people and identity. It is a space that invites the reflection of history from the point of view of Latin America, with our achievements and suffering, to project ourselves into the future. A better, supportive and just future for ourselves. It is identified with the dispossessed of the land, the discriminated people, women, children, the victims of wars and the torture of all kinds.

In the surroundings of La Capilla del Hombre, its impressive architecture, paintings, murals, sculptures, open spaces and the message of commitment to Human Rights, Peace and Solidarity, impact the visitor.

It was declared by UNESCO as "Priority Project for Culture", as well as "Cultural Heritage of the Ecuadorian State" by the honorable National Congress.

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