WMF Mourns Passing of Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler
World Monuments Fund (WMF) is saddened by the passing of Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler on July 30, 2020.
A Doctor of History and Archaeology, and Director of the conservation program for the historic center of Havana, Dr. Leal was a key figure in the preservation field in Cuba and championed the regeneration of Old Havana. He served as the historian of the city of Havana since 1967, and was responsible for the comprehensive rehabilitation of Havana’s historic center, which was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1982.
Although WMF activity in Havana spans decades, a workshop organized with Friends of Havana in 2017, Hablemos De La Habana, sparked a collaborative process between local planners, policymakers and preservation professionals to address key issues the city is facing today, such as expanding development pressures and insufficient local zoning and landmark regulations.
In 2018, WMF honored Dr. Leal with the Hadrian Award in recognition of his unmatched contributions to the preservation of the historic center of Havana. WMF continues its involvement in the city with the preservation of the Convent of Santa Clara of Assisi, which Dr. Leal envisioned as a hub for preservation training in the Caribbean.
World Monuments Fund offers its condolences to the family and to the people of Cuba. The passing of Dr. Leal is a great loss for the city of Havana, for Cuba, and for cultural heritage everywhere.