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Unesco Circulates List of 70 Works Stolen from Cuban Museum
March 10, 2014

HAVANA TIMES — The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) published today a list of 70 artworks recently
stolen from the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana.

The organization condemned the theft which it said “threatens the
integrity of the seized property”, placing them at the mercy of illicit
trafficking of cultural assets at the national and international level,”
stated UNESCO in a press release.

Days after the story first broke in Café Fuerte, Cuban authorities
confirmed the robbery, but without giving specific figures on the number
of stolen pieces.

The theft of the works, mostly belonging to the artistic period known as
the “Turn of the Century” on the Caribbean island (the time between 1897
and 1927), was discovered after several pieces were put on sale in
Miami, home to the largest Cuban exile community .

The works on the list are mostly paintings on canvas by several artists
with the most being by Cuban artist Leopoldo Romañach.

The Cuban authorities said storage facilities of the Museum of Fine Arts
in Havana showed no signs of and that the frames were carefully
repositioned.

“Access to the site was not violated, so it cannot be ascertained the
exact date the theft took place,” said the National Council of Cultural
Heritage in a statement in late February.

The authors of the theft cut the canvases and “neatly repositioned the
frames, so that at first glance the heist would not be detected,” said
the Council which asked for help to locate the stolen works.

In the days following the acknowledgement of the theft, the Cuban
Minister of Culture, Rafael Bernal was summarily dismissed from his
post, but no reason was given.

Source: Unesco Circulates List of 70 Works Stolen from Cuban Museum –
Havana Times.org – http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=102335

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