Ten kilometers from the city of Santiago de Cuba, in the Baconao National Park, is the Promenade of Sculptures, a special place in the geography of the nation. There, with the Caribbean Sea and the mountains of the Sierra Maestra as witnesses, environment and human creations are intertwined, a kind of accomplice dialogue between art and nature.
Very close to the Gran Piedra and sites of cultural and historical significance, in a place popularly known as the Frog-by the presence of a large number of rocks-some of the precursors to the development of environmental sculpture in Cuba had the bright idea of leaving an artistic legacy for future generations.
"In 1988 this group of artists decided to implement the site, which was already beautiful as in Cuba is difficult to find such a short stretch that has the richness of a semiarid and lush forest area, but these elements were added made by artists and sadly were badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, "says Alberto Lescay, president of the Caguayo Foundation.”We set out to rescue this treasure of Cuban and universal culture, which originally consisted of twenty pieces of Cuban sculptors and other nations of the world."
The conservation of each of the works is carried out by caterers. "A detailed analysis of each study was made, because they are made of different materials such as steel, brick and wood, and from combining them, we also intend to refit one that completely disappeared for various reasons. It is Magic Circle, by Mexican Helen Escovedo. In addition we will restore the rest of the collection, from the research we did and photos of the original projects we found "Lescay explains.
Thus, each day the restoration of Promenade of Sculptures progresses emblematic works of this ancient art get back to life, with deep roots in Santiago de Cuba, like Magic circle or Cloud in space, by Cuban Francisco Hernandez, among others that seemed lost in the marabou, the insolent footsteps of loose animals in the area, the disrespectful looting of some people and devastating hurricane Sandy.
For the restoration of these forty hectares of rocks, metal, wood and concrete is a gift to the future; the work has to be done intensively and with detail.
Eduardo Franco Castro, one of the caterers, says that the first step was to access the site, where marabou had taken over, and then they consolidated structural parts with welding, applying converters of rust and corrosive media, and then use paints according to original projects.
"Thanks to the support from the Government and the Party, today this collection with contemporary language is restored, which from the historical, artistic and patrimonial point of view is Cuba's most important set of environmental works of international character," says Alberto Lescay. "It is part of the Coffee Route, as it was originally conceived as a place to rest and have a snack, for healthy recreation and hiking, and receive those who decide to visit La Gran Piedra and the ruins of French coffee plantations. Here art is integrated to nature and history, "he notes.
To defy time and its relentless pace, in addition to the elements of nature is imposed that after finishing the restoration of the Promenade of Sculptures a process of conservation that includes systematic visits to the place and, above all, to prevent that deterioration becomes prey this important artistic set.
With emphasis, it requires awareness in the population to prevent irresponsible attitudes, such as mutilation of works.
(Taken from the Sierra Maestra newspaper).