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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Havana's amazing art deco

I am fascinated by Havana's architecture. Because of the unique situation that Cuba has found itself in, the city remains almost as it was in 1959. There is considerable decay but little by way of the modern developments that beleaguer other capitals. The city has an immensely rich architectural past. Especially delightful are its art deco buildings. This week Havana hosts the 12th World Congress on Art Deco, bringing together world specialists to preserve the city's rich art deco heritage, with lectures, tours and exhibitions . Today;'s Guardian newspaper takes a tour of some of the city's finest buildings from the period. Check out this is wonderful picture gallery:
A spotlight on Havana's art deco heritage – in pictures

Pictured above is the Catalina Lasa and Juan Pedro Baró mausoleum: Married socialite Catalina Lasa fell in love with landowner and widower Juan Pedro Baró in 1905. Cuba had no divorce laws at the time, so the lovers escaped to Paris to continue their affair. On their return, in 1917, Baró built Catalina a neo-Italianate renaissance villa on Vedado’s grand avenue Paseo (Casa de la Amistad, between Calles 17 and 19) which features an art deco dining room (Primavera Restaurant). 
After her death, in 1930, French glassmaster René Lalique was 
commissioned to design this tomb.
Cementerio Colón, Calle Zapata and 12, Vedado

Other art deco features in Havana’s cemetery include (right) the 1957 white marble pietà by Cuba’s most famous sculptor, Rita Longa (1912-2000), which adorns the black tomb of the prominent Aguilera family.

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