A Swiss art collector has donated important works to Cuba’s National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana. Granma reported that the works are by artists including Pablo Picasso, Camille Pissarro, Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp, Joan Miró, Roy Lichtenstein, and André Masson. Gilbert Brownstone plans to donate a total of 120 works of art to Cuba and has dedicated the donation to five Cuban agents imprisoned in the United States for their role in the 1996 shooting down of two planes piloted by anti-Castro Cuban exiles.
Brownstone, a gallery owner and former curator of the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, has donated through the Brownstone Foundation art works to other museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris. Cuban officials awarded him the Medal of Friendship on Monday. Cuban Minister of Culture Abel Prieto thanked Brownstone for contributing “essential names of the vanguard that were not included in our patrimony.”
The five Cuban agents in US prisons are known in Cuba as the “Five Heroes” and are viewed by the Cuban government as unjustly jailed. Cuba says they were trying to stop terrorist acts by infiltrating Cuban exile groups in Miami. They were convicted of various charges and imprisoned after Cuban fighter jets shot down two planes piloted by the Cuban exile group “Brothers to the Rescue” as they flew near Cuba.