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Cubans bid farewell to Eusebio Leal Spengler, the saviour of Havana

Much-loved citizen was born poor but went on to mastermind restoration of the island’s splendid capital

The old town of Havana has sheltered many famous faces over its 500 years, Alexander von Humboldt and Ernest Hemingway among them, but few more loved than Eusebio Leal Spengler, who died on Friday.

The city historian could be seen most days walking through the cobbled streets, past the fruit hawkers and musicians, passing under balconies strung with drying sheets. He would stop to talk to residents who knew him by sight, despite his understated manner and the grey guayabera shirt of the Cuban bureaucrat he favoured.

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