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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 May 2006, 01:51 GMT 02:51 UK
Hemingway papers link Cuba and US
Ernest Hemingway at his country home in San Francisco de Paula near Havana, Cuba, August 1950
Ernest Hemingway lived in Cuba on and off for more than 20 years
Cuba is sending copies of thousands of pages of papers relating to the Nobel Prize-winning American writer Ernest Hemingway to the United States.

The papers - which will be sent to the John F Kennedy presidential library - include copies of Hemingway's letters and some of his famous novels.

The library is the world's top centre for research on the life and work of Hemingway, a library spokesman said.

Hemingway spent much of his time living in Cuba between 1939 and 1960.

Marta Arjona, the head of Cuba's National Heritage Council, said the documents being sent to the US amounted to an "invaluable" gift relating to that period.

She told Cuba's Communist Party newspaper Granma that the move was part of an agreement, reached in 2002, to restore and digitalise some 11,000 documents relating to Hemingway.

Novels and politics

The documents sent include copies of letters in which Hemingway outlines his stance on World War II and the Spanish Civil War.

Copies of his novels For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea - inspired by his time in Cuba - are also being sent to the US.

The originals are expected to remain at a museum at the writer's former house in Havana, Cuba.

Under the agreement, US experts have travelled to Cuba to help restore the museum, Ms Arjona said.

But she said Cuba had met all the costs of the restoration.

The museum, the Museo Ernest Hemingway, is in the house where the novelist lived while he was in Havana.

Established in 1962, it houses the writer's furniture and personal possessions, as well as works of art and books.

The deal to bring copies of the papers to the US was brokered by the Social Science Research Council, JFK Library spokesman Brent Carney told the BBC.

The arrangement is intended to help ensure the preservation of the documents, he said.

It is not clear exactly when they will arrive, he added.

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