(AFP) – Nov 18, 2010
AREQUIPA, Peru — Peru plans to transform the early childhood home of new Nobel Prize-winning author Mario Vargas Llosa into a museum and tourist attraction, officials said.
"I envision the house being transformed into an historic site, a new space where tourists can come, one that will generate revenue for the city," Culture Minister Juan Ossio told reporters during a visit to the site.
The single-story house was uninhabited for several years but is in good condition "thanks to good maintenance by (successive) owners," Ossio said.
The house on Avenue Parra in Peru's second city will be converted into a museum built around Vargas Llosa's life and works and is expected to open by the end of next year.
Born in Arequipa in 1936, the author lived there during his early years with his mother and her family before they settled in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He moved back to Peru and settled in Lima at age 10.
The house last changed hands several months ago when it was purchased by a private company that was not aware it was the childhood home of the famed novelist.
Ossio said he was inspired by a recent visit to Russia where he saw that the homes of the towering novelists Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky had been made into "major tourist attractions."
Vargas Llosa, 74, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010 and has penned a large body of work including historical novels, erotic romances, crime novellas, light-hearted comedies, plays, memoirs, and academic essays.
He rose to prominence with early novels "The Green House" (1966), "Conversation in the Cathedral" (1969), and "Pantaleon and the Visitors" (1973), all set in Peru.
His more recent novels include "The Feast of the Goat" (2000), about the mid-20th century dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, and "The Way to Paradise" (2003), about impressionist painter Paul Gaugin and his grandmother, feminist Flora Tristan.
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