Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana will not be loaning 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 reported last August, four of the Bronx Museum’s board members resigned over disagreements regarding the direction the museum was being taken in by its director, Holly Block. There was a great deal of contention over the “Wild Noise” exhibit, in addition to a plan 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), which would have cost the museum $2.5 million.
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 half of the exhibition has been pushed back a number of times, as there were fears that the artworks could have been taken by the US government because of lawsuits filed by Americans over properties that were confiscated by Fidel Castro when he took power in 1959. The US State Department put forth a ruling to protect the works from seizure late last year. The Museo Nacional, however, still did not respond.