Paris, France.- UNESCO recognized the Havana restoration work reaching its 500th Anniversary in the presence of Eusebio Leal, historian of Havana.

The Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO, Ernesto Ottone, highlighted the efforts made by Eusebio Leal, institutions and the State, in order to restore and preserve the historic city.

‘It has been a really hard, serious, constant and effective work, despite many drawbacks; not only those closely related to the economic context, but also those related to the environment, and particularly the impact of the ocean proximity,’ he stated.

The UNESCO high-ranking representative recalled Havana was listed as World Heritage Site in 1982.

‘Such a title details some places that, according to their features, are termed as universal and exceptional; so Havana counts on that unique value,’ he said.

Eusebio Leal, on the other hand, highlighted how important Cuba´s inclusion in UNESCO´s World Heritage Site list was for the island nation and Latin America.

‘It was a call for Cuba and other nations to do their best in a true and committed way,’ he said.

He added that thanks to all efforts, ‘restoration process is today a culture in Cuba. We have founded a federation of heritage cities, from Baracoa (east) to Viñales (west)’.

He also highlighted the work as a collective effort: ‘I represent many,’ he said.

The meeting was also headed by the Cuban ambassador to Unesco, Dulce Buergo, and the President of Cuba-Cooperation Association, Víctor Fernández, who detailed an in-depth program to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Havana.