Monday, March 27, 2006

Preserving the Pilar

Posted on Mon, Mar. 27, 2006

Preserving the Pilar

Ernest Hemingway's 40-foot, black-hulled fishing boat, the Pilar, could
be getting a little restorative nip and tuck.

Watercraft preservation specialist Dana Hewson of Mystic, Conn., and
members of the Boston-based Hemingway Preservation Foundation are
heading to Finca Vigia, Hemingway's estate in Cuba, where he will
photograph and examine the Pilar.

''Professionally, this is a really fascinating project for me,'' Hewson
told The Day of New London. He works at Mystic Seaport.

Hemingway sailed the boat when he lived in Cuba from 1939 to 1960 and is
said to have conceived some of his greatest works, including The Old Man
and the Sea, while on board.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation placed the boat on its 2005
list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places even though it's
not in the United States.

The Boston group is working with the Cuban government to preserve the
Pilar, along with Hemingway's home and thousands of Hemingway drafts,
manuscripts, letters, photographs and books stored there.

The fear is that the warm, humid conditions will damage the papers,
which include the never-published epilogue of For Whom the Bell Tolls.

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