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General Information on the Emilio Bacardi Moreau Museum
Founded in Santiago de Cuba on February 12th, 1899, the provincial museum bears the name of its founder. The Emilio Bacardi Moreau Museum treasures valuable samples of pre-Columbian culture, national art and in Cuban history. It was declared a National Monument in 1999. It arose with the aim of recovering the relics of the independence wars and it was necessary that the then mayor Emilio Bacardi contacted members of the Liberation Army and former officers of the Spanish Army. In turn, many patriots and relatives of those who participated in the liberation wars made donations of objects that were enriching the collections of the institution.
The Emilio Bacardi Moreau Museum and its Architecture
The building now occupied by the Emilio Bacardi Moreau Museum has an eclectic facade, decorated with neoclassic elements. This building was designed by the architect Santiago Carlos Segrera, who was entrusted with the project in 1915. The construction work began on October 28th, 1922, the date when the first stone was set. Six years later, on May 20th, 1928, the museum-library was officially opened, which honorably was named after its illustrious founder, who died before the work was finished. Its main facade is hierarchical by a wide staircase that leads to a porch flanked by monumental fluted Corinthian columns.
The Halls of the Emilio Bacardi Moreau Museum
The century-old institution has 3 exhibition halls: Art, History and Archaeology. In the latter related work objects and vessels belonging to the first settlers who came to our country are stored. In the history hall items closely related to the struggle for independence and in the Architecture room there are several attractions, including Egyptian mummies brought by the same founders of the museum and Paracas mummies from Peru. In another room of the museum, specifically that of the Generals, the leggings of the General Lieutenant Antonio Maceo Grajales and the hammock in which his mortally wounded body was collected are exposed. In one of the neighbor panels it can be seeing the coat and vest worn by Jose Marti the night of November 26th, 1891, on his first visit to Tampa when at the Ignacio Agramonte Club he gave his speech for the propaganda organization of the Cuban Revolutionary Party . The dental kit with double bottom, which serve to transport messages carried by Dr. Zambrano from New York to Manzanillo in 1894 is exposed. As well as the remains of the first wooden coffin and loop-tie wearied by Martí when he died in combat and that Colonel Federico Perez Carbo could pick from among his remains. One of the unique pieces that the museum exhibits is a torpedo built by hand by the mambises to blow up Spanish sailboats anchored at the mouth of the Cauto River during the Independence War of the Nineteenth Century.
The Emilio Bacardi Moreau Museum and its Heritage Assets
The Emilio Bacardi Moreau Museum has the largest gallery in Cuba and a collection of colonial painting dating from the last three centuries. At the top of the museum there are works of the Spanish Renaissance, including the artist Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, court painter of King Ferdinand II. It is also present a large room devoted Cuban academic art, where the work of artists of the stature of Wifredo Lam, René Portocarrero and Amelia Pelaez is exposed. It has an extensive collection of more than 23,000 heritage assets, including highlights documents and manuscripts, musical writings, historical relics of patriotic character, coin collections, antiques and belongings of internationally recognized personalities that are significant to the nation.