The National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana on Feb. 28, 2014
Art Stolen From Museum in Cuba Turns Up in Miami
NBC By Mary Murray and Orlando Matos
HAVANA — Nearly 100 works of "important" Cuban art were stolen from a warehouse of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, Cuban officials confirmed Friday — and it may have turned up in Miami.
The Cuban National Council of Cultural Patrimony released a statement Friday confirming that a number of “important pieces” stored at an administrative building for the museum are missing, but that there was no forced entry at the building.
“We do not know exactly when the theft took place because the criminals cut the paintings from their frames in a way that the eye could not detect,” the statement said. “Most of the stolen works are from the period called Arte Cubano and are mostly pieces by Leopoldo Romañach.”
And Ramon Cernuda, a prominent Miami art dealer who specializes in 20th century Cuban art, told the Miami Herald that he discovered the stolen art locally after purchasing a painting by Eduardo Abela called “Carnaval Infantil” which he subsequently believed was part of the museum’s collection.
Cernuda said he called museum officials in Havana to alert them to the theft and that it was only after his call that they discovered other art works had been stolen as well.
Cernuda says he has found at least 11 paintings for sale in Miami that belong to the museum’s collection.