Para no olvidar, Lest We Forget

Volume Four of the editorial series Para no olvidar [Lest We Forget], a graphic testimony to the restoration of the Historic Center of Havana, World Heritage Site, has been recently launched. Conceived and directed by Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler, the four volumes of this literary work have been designed by National Prizewinner for Design Carlos Alberto Masvidal, while Mario Cremata has copy edited this fourth volume, which includes photographs by Jorge García Alonso, Rolando Pujol, Néstor Martí and Miguel Ángel Báez.

The dream of saving Cuban heritage has been a heroic effort in light of the conditions of the Island, and continues to be an unfinished task, a work in progress, in the hands of archaeologists, historians, architects, engineers, masons, blacksmiths, carpenters, restorers, and so many others, who work with perseverance, often resurrecting ancient stones from the ruins, to restore the splendor, and sometimes even add more brilliance, to a city that will be celebrating its half millennium this year.

The title of the series, Para no olvidar, Lest We Forget, is a call to all to keep in the memory of today’s and future generations the magnitude of the restoration. The contrast seen in photographs taken at the start of work on buildings or other sites, and in pictures that show the completed work, is irrefutable proof of what has been carried out. No one, then, will be able to hide under spurious interests, discredit or distort an effort that, more than necessary, is essential. Materialization of a dreamed Havana, thought for the wellbeing, in the first place, of those who live in it, and due recognition of a monumental task, because, in the words of Leal himself, “We must remember so that the spirit of this battle is not lost in the course of time.”

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