08/24/13 - Helena Independent Record - Havana restoration project topic of public forum at Carroll College
Magda Resik, director of communications for Havana's city historian, and a
key figure in the pioneering effort to restore Old Havana, will visit
Carroll College Wednesday, Aug. 28, and Thursday, Aug. 29.
During her visit, she will make presentations for a public forum at 7:30
p.m. in the Carroll Campus Center Wednesday and to history and Spanish
classes the next day. While in Helena, she will visit the Montana
Historical Society and be given a tour of historic downtown.
Old Havana was founded in 1519, and remains the heart of Cuba's capital
city. Home to 400,000 residents, it has been undergoing extensive
restoration for the past 20 years - an effort unique in multiple respects
and is a designated a world heritage site.
The project is not directed or controlled by the national government but by
the office of the city historian, Eusebio Leal. Leal gained international
fame when early in his career he lay down in front of bulldozers to prevent
the paving of historic streets.
Underway since 1993, the restoration program has restored several thousand
buildings. But in addition to physical restoration, the effort has major
social, cultural and economic components. Medical facilities, senior
citizen centers and trade apprentice schools are major elements. Maximum
effort is made to train and employ local residents in the actual work, and
the historian's office currently employs approximately 10,000 people.
Public engagement is a major program component, including radio and
television stations. Resik directs this element of the effort.
Her weeklong visit to Montana is being co-hosted by the University of
Montana's Global Leadership Initiative, Carroll College, the Montana
Historical Society and Artemis Common Ground.
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