The ferretería and the other shops closed a long time ago and in 1986 the Casa Museo de África opened within its walls.
Like many buildings in the historic centre of the Cuban capital, this house was wonderfully restored a few years ago by the Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad de La Habana, the institution in charge of the capital's heritage. In the process, some of the names of the shops that occupied the ground floor and adverts for the products they sold were uncovered and a team of specialists in preservation and restoration of mural paintings from the Oficina's Empresa de Restauración de Monumentos was called in.
There is some debate about whether ghost signs should be restored to their original design, preserved in their current state or left to fade away. In Cuba the authorities seem to have chosen not to restore them but to keep them in the state they are in when the building they are painted on is being restored. Thus only the treatment necessary to prevent further damage is normally applied.
The picture below has been created by stitching two photos.
Location: Calle Obrapía, Havana / Pictures taken on: 03/04/2010