Cuba Will Not Loan Art to Bronx Museum

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A report from Art Forum.

Randy Kennedy of the New York Times writes that the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana will not loan the Bronx Museum any artworks for “Wild Noise/Ruido Salvaje,” a collaborative exhibition between the two institutions. The first half of “Wild Noise” opened at the Museo Nacional in the summer of 2015 with a loan of more than eighty pieces from the Bronx Museum’s permanent collection. The Bronx Museum will now plan on exhibiting about sixty works pulled from various private and public collections outside of Cuba.

As artforum.com reported last August, four of the Bronx Museum’s board members resigned over disagreements regarding the museum’s direction, led by director Holly Block. There was a great deal of contention over the “Wild Noise” exhibit, in addition to a plan to fundraise $2.5 million to gift Cuba with a replica statue of Cuban revolutionary leader José Martí (the original sits at the outskirts of New York’s Central Park).

Block did not confirm whether or not the loan was stopped due to fears surrounding Trump’s presidency. “We didn’t get a no from them but we also didn’t get a final yes,” said Block. The Bronx installment of the exhibition has been pushed back a number of times, due to fears that the artworks could have been taken by the US government in relation to lawsuits filed by Americans over properties that were confiscated by Fidel Castro when he took power in 1959. The US Department of State put forth a ruling to protect the works from seizure late last year. The Museo Nacional, however, still did not respond.

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