Cuba Havana National School of Arts

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Cuba - Havana. Castro's Academy
Escuela Nacional de Arte
Photos: Alessandro Gandolfi
When Fidel Castro took the power in Havana, in 1960, one of his first acts was the confiscation of the great golf course on the South side of the city. He wanted to build a school of fine arts on it, better: "the most beautiful academy of fine arts of the world". And with no fees for the students. Castro asked Cuban architect Ricardo Porro to make his dream come true, and Porro asked the support of two young Italian colleagues: Vittorio Garatti and Roberto Gottardi.

The result was grand: The Escuela Nacional de Arte (National School of Arts) was an ensemble of futuristic buildings perfectly integrated in the greenery around them. When Cuba entered the Soviet sphere of influence, anyway, the utopia of such a project became suddenly anti-revolutionary. Today, the area has been progressively abandoned and the announced reclamation and salvage projects never started, but La Escuela still hosts music, dance and plastic art courses, nurturing dreams and aspirations of many Cuban students.
Cuba Havana National School of Arts
International photojournalism