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article imageMassive art heist in Cuba

By Justin King     Mar 4, 2014 in Entertainment
Havana - The Cuban government has confirmed the theft of around 100 pieces from Havana's National Museum of Fine Arts. The theft is the first disclosure of such an event since Fidel Castro took power in the late 1950s.
Some of the stolen pieces have already shown up in Miami, Florida where an alert art collector made the connection between 11 pieces in a gallery, including one he purchased, and notified Havana’s museum. Ramon Cernuda, a Cuban living in exile in the United States, made the call last month.
On Friday, Cuban officials confirmed the paintings were indeed stolen, and that the total number pieces stolen far exceed the eleven recovered. Some of the missing pieces are by Leopoldo Romañach, a well-known Cuban artist. Some of the paintings were reportedly completed in the 1800s.
Cuban officials have asked anyone with suspicions to report to the Art Loss Register in London, Interpol, or the U.S. FBI. Cuban officials found no forced entry at the administrative building where the paintings were kept, and said the paintings were knifed out of their frames. The frames were then stacked to minimize the chance of discovery of the stolen art works.
The Cuban National Council of Cultural Patrimony said in a statement that
competent authorities in and outside the country are providing technical specifications and photos to museums, galleries, auction houses and others in order to alert them that a theft from an official institution has taken place with the intent to illicitly traffic nationally and internationally.
Julian Radcliffe has offered to assist in the recovery of the missing pieces. His organization has recovered around 2,000 pieces worldwide since 1991.
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