Investigating Avenues of Restitution for Artwork Confiscated in Castro-Era Cuba: A Comparison with Cases During the Nazi and Mao Periods
AuthorValencia, Olivia Marie
AdvisorRomano, Irene Bald
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis thesis discusses the pivotal role of art as a political pawn in the 20ᵗʰ century and how it was utilized and manipulated to promote governmental ideologies during the Nazi, Mao, and Castro regimes. The recognition of the monetary value and cultural influence of individual artworks resulted in their confiscation and/or destruction during World War II and the Cultural and Cuban Revolutions. Subsequent transitions in government produced the necessary political, economic, and social climates that allowed art to be reclaimed as part a society's cultural heritage. These shifts in collective mentality catalyzed the recovery and restitution of artwork that had been confiscated by the Nazis, and stimulated the recovery of China's cultural heritage. Cuba is presently faced with issues of restituting artwork confiscated under Castro and is at the beginning of the revelation process that has already begun in China and is well underway with the remnants of Nazi confiscation. Given that these processes in Cuba are still in their infant stages, the purpose of this paper is to review and evaluate scholarly proposals for Cuban restitution and to suggest additional avenues for restitution considering the current state of Cuban affairs.
Degree ProgramHonors College