UNESCO Director-General visits historic Santa Clara Convent

Havana, Cuba

The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, expressed her satisfaction at inaugurating, on her visit to the Santa Clara Convent, a new stage of cooperation of the Organization with Cuba and the Caribbean, an action that will be accompanied by the European Union. She further stated that this cooperation does not simply apply to the building’s restoration. Above all, it focuses on what it will contribute to crafts training relative to heritage and the development of cultural industries in the region.

The UNESCO highest-ranking official declared that it will be a transcendental educational project, since it will disseminate both Latin American and Caribbean heritage and culture, as it respects history and projects itself towards the future.

The Santa Clara Convent, a 17th-century religious construction, today finds itself in the midst of a restoration process in order to house the Arts and Crafts Academic Training Centre for Heritage Restoration in Cuba, the Caribbean and the Antilles, as part of the programme “Transcultura: Integrating Cuba, the Caribbean and the European Union through Culture and Creativity”.

The Director-General of UNESCO visited the Santa Clara Convent as part of a tour through the Historic Centre of Havana, which constituted her first activity in Cuba. Also participating in the visit, was H.E. Mr Alberto Navarro, Ambassador of the European Union to Cuba.

The head of the Heritage Rehabilitation and Conservation Division of the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana, Norma Pérez-Trujillo, gave the Director-General and the accompanying delegation a guided tour through several areas of the Convent. She informed the visitors that the Convent is one of the oldest constructions in Cuba covering an area of 12,200 square metres. In addition, the specialist offered a detailed description of the ongoing restoration process and announced that once the rehabilitation of the first cloister is completed, the Centre will open its doors.