Havana Capitol

The Capitol of Havana is a symbol of the city in the midst of decay and restorations. Those who go around their surroundings always look for it as a point of reference. Located in the center of the Cuban capital –among Prado, Dragones, Industria and San José streets– this colossus with neoclassical facade marks the zero kilometer of the Central Highway of Cuba.

It hosted the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment and the Academy of Sciences of Cuba at different times and, since 2010, is part of a of capital restoration process to become the home of the Cuban parliament again, although since last November a part of the National Assembly of Cuba resides there in its repaired halls and hemicycles.

Photo: Abel Basquiat.
Photo: Abel Basquiat.

It was recently announced that the Russian state-owned company Goszagransobstvennost convened a project competition for the restoration of the gold cape of the Capitol dome. At the end of August, the winning project will have to offer solutions to strengthen the structure of the dome and its lining with natural stone (sandstone), the coating with new bronze plates and its coating with sheets of gold leaf, with budget of 20 million rubles (354 thousand dollars) assumed by the Russian government.

The Capitol is a legend especially for the diamond that inhabited it, that used to belong to Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia, robbed on March 25, 1946 from the property and recovered on June 5 the following year. It was replaced by a replica in 1973 due to security reasons and it was kept in the safe deposit box of the Central Bank of Cuba.

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