Rights Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation such as public display or performance of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author. 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. The confiscation of artwork during watershed events and subsequent attempts to reclaim it, oftentimes decades after it was first taken, serve as trigger points for social change in the worlds of art and politics. Patterns of restitution demonstrate how the effects of the confiscation of works of art are still felt in later generations and influence how art is viewed, both legally and informally. The large-scale confiscation of artwork by the Nazis during World War II received little public attention at the time, and it was not until the s and s when increased governmental transparency and formal calls for investigation finally brought the issue to public view. Similarly, the destruction and loss of art during Cultural Revolution of the s under the Mao regime was not largely addressed until several decades later, primarily resulting from the movement towards a more open Chinese government and easing relations with Western nations. A confiscation of artwork and other property occurred during the Cuban Revolution of under the Castro regime, the events and results of which are now coming to the public s consciousness and becoming conversation topics in news outlets although they have been known to scholars for quite some time. Cuba is presently faced with issues of the restitution of artwork 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. With this in mind, the purpose of this thesis is to investigate how political regime changes, with particular focus on art under Castro regime in Cuba, impacts art. It is important to note that Cuban restitution cases are still in their infant stages and are inherently unique from a legal perspective. Therefore, comparisons with other examples of restitution will be reviewed. It is important to note that this is a contemporary topic whose events continue to unfold; therefore, this paper will contribute to the small yet growing body of literature that currently exists. This discussion is not intended to be a completely comprehensive evaluation but rather an introduction or general outlining of possible resolutions. An important consideration that contributes to the limitations of this paper is the relative lack of information regarding Cuban confiscation and restitution, as well as regarding the destruction of art under the Mao regime as compared with Nazi-era restitution; this is certainly due, at least in part, to historical issues with the freedom of the press in Cuba and China. As a result, there was some difficulty in obtaining and evaluating literature, and references were mostly limited to Western scholarly publications and journalistic sources published online. The use of certain vocabulary terms in this discussion also requires acknowledgment. Instead of using the politically charged term looting, the physical act of taking artwork and personal properties as authorized by the government will be referred to as confiscation. Accompanying this loss was the extensive confiscation of personal property, including artwork, jewelry, furniture, real estate, etc. While it is impossible to determine the exact monetary value or volume of property that was taken by the Nazis, Jennifer Anglim Kreder, a professor of law and prominent scholar of Holocaust-era restitution, cites the common statistic that the Nazis confiscated approximately twenty percent of Europe s artwork during their regime. Hitler s quest to establish a pure Germanic Empire extended beyond the political realm and resulted in the denouncement of art that deviated from Nazi ideology and the highly esteemed classical ideal of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Nicholas, also author of The Rape of Europa, writes of Hitler s belief that the world must be purged of unsuitable works of art and the artists responsible for them. As with any other act of warfare, the Nazi occupation of Europe was also marked by personal greed and resulted in the looting of artwork and other valuable artifacts as spoils of war. As part of the Nazi regime, Hitler had grand plans to construct his personal museum in his hometown of Linz, Austria, and to display his spoils in the tradition of the Louvre and the Uffizi Gallery, the latter of which he had visited with Mussolini. At his command were four well-organized, military-backed government agencies with the sole task of managing art-related affairs. The combined threat of Nazi confiscation and destruction of artwork, not to mention inherent dangers of war itself, prompted individual citizens as well as art professionals in museums, galleries, and other institutions to evacuate targeted works out of war zones and into the countryside or abroad. A common situation in which the Nazis confiscated 7 Lynn H. Abrams, Incorporated, , Ibid. In keeping with their paradoxical obsession with perceived legality, the Nazis went to great lengths to establish legal reason for their widespread looting and to keep careful records of the actions. In the case of abandonment, fleeing individuals were no longer considered citizens of their country, which classified their remaining possessions as abandoned and therefore validated their appropriation. This reasoning was especially utilized in conjunction with the Vichy government in the case of Jewish families fleeing France.
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