Amer­i­can Mu­seum of Nat­u­ral His­tory to host Cuba ex­hibit

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

The Amer­i­can Mu­seum of Nat­u­ral His­tory is pre­sent­ing a bilin­gual ex­hibit that ex­plores Cuba's bio­di­ver­sity and cul­ture. The ex­hi­bi­tion is called "?Cuba!" and opens Nov 21. It was de­vel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Cuba's Na­tional Mu­seum of Nat­u­ral His­tory un­der an agree­ment signed in the sum­mer in Ha­vana. The wide-rang­ing ex­hi­bi­tion in­cludes pho­to­graphs and quotes from Cubans, a dis­play on the cul­ti­va­tion of to­bacco, a film about Cuba's his­tory and life­like mod­els rep­re­sent­ing the is­land's wildlife.

"What we wanted with this ex­hibit is to take peo­ple be­yond the head­lines to what they may not know or ex­pect about Cuba," said cu­ra­tor Ana Luz Porze­can­ski, di­rec­tor of the mu­seum's Cen­ter for Bio­di­ver­sity and Con­ser­va­tion. "Cuba is much more than its won­der­ful mu­sic or Cuban cigars or old cars. Cuba is also a fas­ci­nat­ing na­tion of re­mark­able bio­di­ver­sity." The ex­hibit dis­cusses a shrew-like mam­mal called an almiqui, which se­cretes ven­omous saliva through a groove in its front teeth, and the bee hum­ming­bird, con­sid­ered the small­est bird in the world, among other crea­tures.

The United States and Cuba, a Caribbean is­land na­tion, are just 90 miles apart but had frigid re­la­tions for decades. They an­nounced in De­cem­ber 2014 that they were restor­ing diplo­matic ties, which were bro­ken in 1961 after Fidel Cas­tro took power in Cuba and in­stalled a com­mu­nist govern­ment. Porze­can­ski said the ex­hibit is not nec­es­sar­ily a re­sult of the reestab­lish­ment of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween the na­tions al­though "that was help­ful to our joint work." The mu­seum, she said, has been col­lab­o­rat­ing with Cuban col­leagues for more than 100 years. Es­ther Perez Lorenzo, di­rec­tor of the Cuban mu­seum, said that co­op­er­a­tion will con­tinue. The ex­hibit will run through Aug 13, 2017.

A Cuban Car­ni­val cos­tume is dis­played at the Amer­i­can Mu­seum of Nat­u­ral His­tory ex­hibit, "Cuba!"

Green anoles rest on a branch in a ter­rar­ium at the Amer­i­can Mu­seum of Nat­u­ral His­tory in the ex­hibit "Cuba!"

A vis­i­tor to the Amer­i­can Mu­seum of Nat­u­ral His­tory views a dis­play of a to­bacco har­vest in the ex­hibit “Cuba!”

AP pho­tos

A 1955 Chevro­let Bel Air is dis­played in the ex­hibit "Cuba!" at the Amer­i­can Mu­seum of Nat­u­ral His­tory.—

Vis­i­tors to the Amer­i­can Mu­seum of Nat­u­ral His­tory view a dio­rama of a shark swim­ming above a co­ral reef in the ex­hibit "Cuba!," Tues­day in New York.

A vis­i­tor to the Amer­i­can Mu­seum of Nat­u­ral His­tory views posters in the show, "Cuba!

School chil­dren play domi­noes at the ex­hibit "Cuba!"

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